“Working with George and seeing his increasing confidence to take an active role in exploratory play is a delight. I can’t think of a job I would rather do!”
- Hannah, a teacher at MacIntyre School and Children's Homes.
The team at MacIntyre School and Children's Homes have been supporting George*, a student, to develop confidence using his hands.
Within the school's large gym, George could be found experimenting with sensory play alongside Hannah, a teacher at MacIntyre School. Placed in front of them, was a bucket of toys in a variety of colours and textures.
Speaking about George, Hannah can't help but smile:
"He's such a lovely, sociable young man. Everyone loves working with him."
George doesn't communicate using words and struggles using his hands. He frequently shows visual interest in activities but is only beginning to explore the world through touch and discover what his hands can do.
This is something staff at MacIntyre School and Children's Homes have been supporting him with, through both practical activities and sensory play, aimed at increasing his independence.
Picking up one of the toys from the bucket, Hannah presses a large button on top of the toy, grinning at George as he watches the toy push around a dozen coloured marbles, rattling and whizzing around in the clear container.
George smiles at the sound, lifting his eyes to meet Hannah's. As the marbles begin to lay still, Hannah supports George to reach out, pressing the button down once again, releasing the marbles into another frenzy.
Moments after, slowly and gently George raises his hands into the bucket, touching the different toys, running his hand across them and selecting one to use.
This is another step forward for George.
"Previously George would watch, lacking the confidence to explore cause and effect with his own hands. Beginning to do so opens so many new possibilities for him to interact with, learn from and enjoy the world."
By supporting George to use his hands, develop his sense of touch and motor skills, the team hope he will be more able to take an active role the tasks of daily living such as putting his socks and shoes on.
If you would like to find out more about how we support young people at MacIntyre School, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
*Names in this story have been changed