A game of interactions
Chloe has Angelman’s Syndrome, which means she smiles most of the time. Due to this it would be really easy to assume that she enjoys all of the activities she is offered. Obviously, we should never assume anything about someone we support, but as Chloe does not use words to communicate, it is not always easy to ascertain her actual levels of enjoyment.
Recently Chloe’s support worker Kerry took her to a music concert at ‘Soundbites’, a local lunchtime recital within the Attenborough Arts Centre.
When the music began Chloe reached over and took my hand and started to tap her hand on mine along to the music. Chloe then began to tap her hand on to the table, which I copied. Chloe smiled broadly at this and began initiating and leading a game of interactions. This was the first time that I felt Chloe and I had connected as equals and Chloe had led our interaction so clearly. Chloe was obviously enjoying the music and our interaction; all at her request.
The person’s name has been changed in this blog
Ellie rarely uses body language to show she is enjoying an activity, so it was wonderful to see Ellie expressing her delight at a trip to the park last summer. Ellie is a lady who knows what she does and doesn’t want to do, but often only expresses herself really clearly when it is concerning the latter.
Upon our arrival at the park, I offered Ellie my hand and supported her to ride on the roundabout. Starting very slowly, I pushed the roundabout into rotation, supporting Ellie from behind. Ellie immediately smiled, so I increased the speed at which she positively beamed! Ellie took charge here, pushing me away at which point I got off the ride. As I increased the speed more, Ellie started giggling, this turned into fits of giggles as we went faster still.
When Ellie indicated she’d had enough, we tried out the seesaw. Despite it being a struggle to get on, Ellie persevered and was rewarded with another ride which dissolved her into fits of giggles! Ellie’s delight was so transparent at such a humble activity that both she and I were beaming. I don’t think either of us can wait for the weather to improve so we can enjoy this activity together again.