The definition of ‘delay’ according to Merriam-Webster: (noun) a situation in which something happens later than it should. That seems clear. We move on and look at the definition of ‘process’, again, according to Merriam-Webster: (noun) a series of changes that happen naturally. If we were to combine these terms in order to describe the processing delay of a person; would we all reach the same outcome? Words are amazing for communication – I’m not diminishing the use. I take a different approach. Do you know that saying ‘A person will forget what you said, but will never forget how you made them feel’? When I lead workshops on this topic, I like to have the room share what process delays FEEL like to each of us. Is it all an exact mimic? No. It is however, a significant way to share insights, conversation, and hints of relatability to those who otherwise may not grasp the idea.
Last week, I got to share close to 2 hours playing games with 8 adults and 2 children in order to learn about the information that our ears, eyes, body, and brain dismantle, coordinate, and piece together. After the brief introductions and drawing activity – we launched into some yoga to get the ‘creative juices’ flowing. Our first game was related to our visual system. There were 20 eyes all peering up at the PowerPoint slide nervously standing up to take part in the task. My first question – who thought task #1 was easy? Who thought task #2 was the easiest? Why didn’t we all agree unanimously on the varied tasks and the ease to get them done? E raised her hand and spoke quietly, “we are all unique.” YES!!!!! We most certainly are.
We played a ridiculously challenging game of ‘telephone’ later in the workshop. I should note that many adults I bring through the exercise will mumble under their breath the dismay they have at piecing together the simple sentence that was spoken to them. (In this class, there was a 9 year old phenom who astonished the older folks who watched). Everyone agreed that this play involving auditory processing, sequential patterns, timing, visual processing, and recall was difficult. When I addressed the group with a series of questions about the skills and ability of the persons that had to perform the work – I saw K in the corner shaking her head and holding back some emotion.
The group leapt into another project at the very end of the session together – drawing! I gave out the directions and they were off! Everyone was feverishly coloring on gigantic pieces of paper. The entire room was engrossed in their art, what they wanted to convey, searching their brains for symbols, meanings, and colors. The space was quiet aside from the gentle scratching noises of marker tips and crayons. In an effort to save feelings, I offered up my artwork as a launching of open dialogue on critiques, criticism, motivation, praise, and validation. What changes when it’s a child vs. Adult. Student vs. Colleague. Family Member vs. Stranger. Another Person vs. Ourselves.
At the conclusion – T strode up to me (as the youngest contributor) asking for a rubber band in order to safely move his newly created art piece. I had a feeling he’d do the soul searching homework that I asked. Then M came up to me when all the attendees had left the building. ‘I never realized how insensitive I may have appeared to my in-laws who do not speak English. After being active in 2 of those hearing games we played, I know I’m going to be more cognizant of how I speak to them next time. J Ah yes. There was recognition of how we are all unique. Seemingly easy skills can be very hard for some. We can all take some time to relate to someone (even if a moment) before reacting/acting.
In the role of advocate, Mrs. Lascano draws upon experiences utilizing sensory motor movement, negotiation/conflict resolution, coaching, positive psychology, drug development, and outside-the-box tools. Connections between Neuro Touch Inc. and other local professionals ensures additional options and resources can be provided to those who are seeking help for a child or family concern.
Neuro Touch Inc. ‘’bridging connections in education’’ www.synapse-sync.org