Sunday, 19 October 2008

Beckoning and holding hands, ipods and mobile phones

" Nürnberg Burg, 2006" by Susie Mallett

Here I am sitting on my balcony, listening to the city noises that include the twittering of birds, enjoying the last of the day’s autumn sunshine and reflecting on various aspects of my work, especially that with adults. I am preparing for the presentation in November in Budapest and searching my memories and my computer for images that relate to the various themes.

This is the image which just leapt into my mind from the week that I just spent with my tramping-the-hills and painting client. Lots happened during that week, lots of developments and problem-solving, so much in fact that this small step and lovely image nearly got lost in my memories.

Quite soon after I had arrived my client beckoned me from the kitchen door (quite an achievement for an athetoid, beckoning), then he walked towards me, gently slipped his hand in mine and took me off to see his new Tina Turner video.

Gently slipping a hand in mine, now that is an even greater achievement for this young man than beckoning to me to go with him. It has taken a long time for him to gain so much control over his limbs to enable him to make both these movements. He has learnt how to stand still, to stretch his arm, to prevent the jerks and to move his fingers… quite a lot of learning.

I didn’t give a thought to where he wanted to take me, all I could think was "Wow, now he will be able to slip his hand into his first girlfriend’s hand without giving her a black eye!"

We got to talking about the first girlfriend a few days later, and I got to thinking about a new set of motivating tactics for my young adult clients.

Now I need to be including ipods and CD-players, mobile phones and computer game to my box of fine-finger “toys”, and I will certainly be introducing walking hand in hand to the walking programme of the teenagers' group! This of course will mean lots of loud music and lots of giggling but at the same time an awful lot of fun.

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