I do not know how he came to acquire the nick-name Egg but ever since he came along that’s what my youngest son has been called. I run The Sensory Projects www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk (which should now really be called The Sensory Projects and Sons!) My work focuses on people with profound disabilities and sensory differences, but my son’s advice will apply to your work too.
In this series of articles we are going to share his insights with you, if you are keen for more there is an ever growing collection on my Facebook profile: come and make friends. www.Facebook.com/JoannaGraceTSP
This is article 3 out of a series of 10! To view the others click here.
Watching Egg before he could walk it was clear that he used his feet to explore materials as much as he used his hands. Of course this could be a consequence of having a sensory engagement specialist as a mother, who is prone to wrapping jangling belly dancer sarongs around the chair legs, but more likely it is simply to do with the number of nerve endings.
Our hands are very sensitive, lots of nerve endings = lots of sensation = a great tool for exploring. Tongues and lips are even better, so putting things in your mouth is a great way to explore the world. And feet! Feet too should join this party, their tickliness is a result of their many nerve endings, so providing things to explore with twinkle toes is a wonderful way to invite learning about the world.
The belly dancer’s sarong was a great hit, providing texture to explore, and rewarding that exploration with a light show and a cacophony of jingles.
My feet reach out for things just like my hands do.
You may only use your hands to touch and explore, but feet seem just as good an option to me.
When I am older more people will expect me to wear shoes. And I probably will because my feet will, likely, carry me around so I will need shoes to keep them safe.
But if wheels carried me around. Or if I was inside in a safe space, it would be nice to feel with my feet again.
If I had hands that did not work so well, my feet might be all the more important.
Mummy gets teased for me not wearing socks now. Think what you would say to her if she encased my hands in leather and put hard rubber soles across my palms. When I have my socks and shoes on, I learn less about the world around me.
If you are supporting people who enjoy the sensory world as I do, can you find times when they can be out of their socks and shoes so that they have four sources of information, not just two?
(These words first appeared on Jo’s Facebook profile you are welcome to send her a friend request to watch out for more insight https://www.facebook.com/JoannaGraceTSP:
Joanna provides online and in person training relating to sensory engagement and sensory differences, look up www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk/online-college for more information. To view a list of her books visit www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk/books Follow Jo on social media to pick up new sensory insights, you’ll find her at: @Jo3Grace on Twitter, www.Facebook.com/JoannaGraceTSP and https://uk.linkedin.com/in/joannagracethesensoryprojects
Joanna Grace is an international Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, trainer, author, TEDx speaker and founder of The Sensory Projects.
Consistently rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted, Joanna has taught in mainstream and special-school settings, connecting with pupils of all ages and abilities. To inform her work, Joanna draws on her own experience from her private and professional life as well as taking in all the information she can from the research archives. Joanna’s private life includes family members with disabilities and neurodivergent conditions and time spent as a registered foster carer for children with profound disabilities.
Joanna has published four practitioner books: “Multiple Multisensory Rooms: Myth Busting the Magic”, “Sensory Stories for Children and Teens”, “Sensory-Being for Sensory Beings” and “Sharing Sensory Stories and Conversations with People with Dementia”. and two inclusive sensory story children’s books: “Voyage to Arghan” and “Ernest and I”. There is new book coming out soon called ‘”The Subtle Spectrum” and her son has recently become the UK’s youngest published author with his book, “My Mummy is Autistic”.