Identifying Which Textures Are Fearful

Written By Andrew Short

I have a Masters of Disability Studies. I write about blindfold sensory games and activities as a person living with cerebal palsy. This includes creating my own blindfold games and investigating ways in which it helps develop the five senses.  

Identifying What Textures Might Be Fearful

Most OT’s do this by asking you to fill out of questionnaire, but my OT has a much more interesting way of assessing what textures one may be fearful of with tactile game we played last summer.

One day I sat down at her table and put my blindfold on. She then brought out 11 patty cake containers with 11 different textures. She said there were 12 and gave me 1 two times and watched my reactions. When I was feeling grass I thought it was gravel (I didn’t like it!). The next day I sat blindfolded at her table and she put out a tray to feel, I didn’t know what it was and it felt uncomfortable. When the blindfold was removed and I could see it was cooked pasta. I had no problem playing with it.

Before blog goes any further, one thing must be cleared up. For people in Canberra who see Kelly Mallinder of Horizon Therapy Services, neither this post or the one before it are meant to imply that I am suggesting that Ms Mallinder is a believer in blindfolding people and forcing them out of their comfort zone just for the sake of it. If one sees her main website http://www.horizonoccupationaltherapy.com/#!staff/c10po she links to a video exposing of horrors institutionalising of children with disabilities in Bulgaria even in the 2000’s. (No I am not attacking everything about Bulgaria)

Kelly will be the first to admit that there are times in therapy where she needs to put someone out of their comfort zone to find out what they need help with, but parents decide when the limit is reached. Back in the days of institutions, there were people obsessed with carrying on about the “evils” of cuddling children with disabilities, Kelly is not one of them.

Actually, I affectionately call her “tough love with a Yorkshire accent”.

Neither am I suggesting that the ideas on this website will be good for everyone or that I’m an expert. I’m merely blogging my own journey and ideas.

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