Adam is a student who has a great sense of humour and we have many Great Interactions with him on a regular basis. His support and sensory needs however are extremely complex and there are many aspects to his support that create challenges. Communication and understanding what is expected of him during an activity are two such difficulties.
Recently, Adam has been involved in sessions at an outdoor facility where the many activities include animal care. This creates a very dynamic environment whereby it can be difficult for Adam to understand (or anticipate) what needs to happen next. During these sessions Adam has created a routine to help normalise himself with the surroundings: he will use the parachute outdoors to play games, rock on the bench-swing and engage with the horse play balls. However, on this day Adam used several opportunities to problem solve and complete things out of his comfort zone.
Firstly, Adam agreed to feed the rabbits, which was a great break in his routine. Initially Adam tried to use the food scoop that was given to him; but after experiencing difficulty with the motor skill of using the scoop, Adam decided to use his hands to get a substantial amount of rabbit food into the rabbits bowl, which was a very creative (and unprompted) way to reach the end goal. Next, Adam drew his support staffs attention to some horse droppings on the ménage, and again once the wheel barrow and scoop were used to scoop up the horse droppings, Adam used his own initiative and decided to take the filled wheel barrow to where used hay and horse droppings were left. Adam independently led staff to this area. This was another opportunity to further understand Adams awareness of the context around him. Lastly Adam achieved his ultimate goal; this was to lead a Shetland pony out in to the field. Adam did so well, he waited for the gates to be opened and he kept at a safe distance but held onto the lead in a positive and controlled manner.
Seeing Adam complete this for himself makes me think about how much I enjoy supporting people and how I often get surprised by people’s underlying abilities to problem solving in such dynamic and unexpected ways. Having a creative approach helps me to get to know and understand people better, their strengths and quite possibly their way of thinking. It is great and very rewarding to know students can think beyond the boxes we put life lessons or routines into, and this experience truly made me reflect on and appreciate the potential that students possess!
No Limits Leicester