Social interaction and friendships
When these children spend much of their time looking up at the ceiling, having the chance to play and interact with others is so valuable. Over the years, while 1Step2Step has been working with these children with complex needs, that’s been a challenging and enjoyable thing to bring to them.
Many of the children in our group need much physical assistance in most upright positions. Those upright positions assist their core strength to increase and give a more satisfying experience of the world around them. The chance to see birds gather to try and make a nest, to watch cars go past on the driveway or to watch someone fall off their bike gives these children something different to think about. That’s another reason why trips are so valuable… being upright, seeing and sharing an experience outside the orphanage is of great benefit.
As I was saying, getting these children in positions so that their view is interesting and social can be a challenge. Once one is positioned, working to keep them stable while helping the other get legs crossed and hips squared is no easy feat.
Once they are up and seeing each other, the fun is wonderful. Seeing each other make activating toys, seeing mischievous actions unfold and getting reactions from each other when they succeed is wonderful. I try to give this chance of interaction to all of the group with different children. Some can sit unaided, so they get in various positions and mix a lot with others. For some other children, we have to think outside the box.
We are blessed with equipment which makes for a variety of approaches and with that variation comes the ability to work on different skills, while interacting and playing games with friends. Sitting crossed legged, kneeling, side lying, prone lying and sitting on the ball or block are such fun activities when there is friendship, movement and toys to play with. Think of the contrast to staring at the ceiling much of the day.
We do so much more than this, but when holding two children upright, there are no hands left to take the photo to capture the moment to show you.
P.S. Don’t miss the video below.