Relational Psychomotor Function Workshop
Focus: Early Intervention
Rosaelvira Aliaga Cruz
Early Intervention Teachers
C:E.E. "San Francisco de Asís"
Marques de Guadalcazar l60
E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
At C.E.E.E "San Francisco de
Asis", we have been working the last three years in a workshop which
allows to give back and establish, in case it does not exist, the relationship
bond between mother and child with visual problems of 0 to 3 years old. It is a
psychomotor function workshop of with a relational approach based on a
psychoanalytic theoretical support referenced to a work based on the body.
Being it the protagonist of the action, it allows to establish a communication
with itself and its environment acting at different levels: instrumental,
cognitive and emotional. The child will be able to experience a temporal-space
reality done with sensations through positions, movements, contacts,
distances and rhythms developed between the dyad mother-child.
The method is adapted to the needs of the blind children to develop their capacities and considering that these are just peculiarities of their evolution and not a pathology.
Likewise, it allowed us to observe the changes performed by the mothers and children, whom using the workshop space, have developed communicational codes filled with a tonic-affective and emotional connotation out of which the child's personality structure is established.
For three years, a workshop has been conducted at the C.E.E. San Francisco de Asís that permits to return and establish, if missing, the mother-child relational link with vision problems with ages ranging from 0 to 3 years. It is a psychomotor function workshop with a relational approach based on the psychological, analytical and theoretical support that refers to a work based on the body through the tone (BOSCAINI), where the body is the main character of the action and is permitted to establish communication with itself and its environment as of putting in motion its different levels: instrumental, cognitive and emotional and through different mediators: gesture, word and objects. It enables the child to experience personally a psychological-affective and time-space reality turned into sensations through positions, movement, tensions, mime, contacts, distances and rhythms developed between the mother-child dyad. The Workshop permits us to work in the psychomotor development, to reach levels of symbolization and representation which maximum exponent is the shape of the own image, the comprehension of the world, the establishment of communication and the relationship with the rest. Also, to create a non- restrictive welcoming environment for the child and his/her mother where he/she could feel different experiences, express his/her wishes and meet them inside a non-directive environment. Also, there is the attentive concern about the affective needs of the children and their mothers and about what they may represent for the future and evolution of their personality.
Body language is innate in the human being and if blocked on one side, there is an impact caused by the child disability on the mother. As LOWENFELD states, blindness imposes three basic limitations: limitations in the relationship between the ego and the environment, limitations in the skills and possibility of moving around the environment and limitations in the quantity and variety of experiences. All of them include a tonic-affective and emotional implication based on which the structure of the child personality is established. It must be taken into consideration the specification of psychomotor functions where movement also assumes a communicative dimension, expression of a steady dynamics among the body, its functions and the external reality in a relational situation, where the child forms himself/herself based on movement.
The workshop is based on the person as a whole, mainly in the first infancy which core is the development of the body and its knowledge. His/her development goes "from the action to the thought" (WALLON).
The workshop gives him/her the possibility of establishing a confrontation with his/her mother as an equal to her, where roles are abolished and unmasked to present an adult as a person at the same level as the child, to identify himself/herself and develop his/her potentialities. Both of them organize little by little their world based on their own bodies and their contact with the limited resources involved. On the one side, the child is just capable of experiencing pleasant sensations which distend him/her and unpleasant sensations which stress him/her, without differentiating if they come from outside or inside his/her body. And, on the other side, a mother that is deeply hurt, cannot differentiate as she accedes to a reciprocal accommodation of her postures and to an exchange of tensions-distensions. The mother does not hold, support or contain her child and he/she is not capable of expressing a feeling of confidence and security: function of fondness, a first sensitive reference of himself/herself.
It is adapted taking into consideration the needs of blind children in order to develop their capabilities and assuming that they are just peculiarities of their evolution and not a pathology. The lack of vision causes a different mental organization in the individual; the construction of a thought without the support of visual images, a knowledge of the reality of the sometimes confused, partial and frequently divided world.
Techniques of non verbal communication are used: the tonic relationship, the body contact, the zones of contact, the prolonged immobility, the mobile contacts, the body mobility, the reciprocal unbalances and balances, swinging and rocking, body approach. Also, an encounter space is used, which in turn, is the place of the child and the place of the other (mother, teacher) called "fusion space" because it is the place where the distance is worked symbolically, through the productions of the other’s body. Approaching to what WINNICOT defines with the term of "transitional space", this space is action in common where the actions of the child must find the actions of the adult. The workshop favors the appearance of communication between the child and his/her mother at a particular time and space and with a specific material..
The methodological task of the Workshop also tries to respect the child and his/her mother just as they are. The work focuses on their positive and unique aspects, interest is put in their contribution. Their integrity as individuals, the motor functions, the affectivity and the cognitive processes are respected, that is, the time of the child and his/her mother's, their behavior in this world, their way to live it, to discover it, to know it are respected. Based on that respect and interaction, the mother-child relationship finds again confidence and security on their actions in the world.
STRATEGIES FOR THE WORKSHOP DEVELOPMENT
Strategies are created in order to encourage each aspect of the child development. They are:
- THE SPACES
At the workshop, spaces that are strongly linked to the psychomotor development and to the evolution of the child's play are used. A space of sensemotor play where the child experiences the sensemotor pleasure; a space of symbolic play where language appears and intensifies; and a space of cognitive play. Also, a space of rite, an invariable physical place where the rites of beginning and closure of the session will take place.
- THE MATERIALS
The materials are present in the different spaces and help the child and his/her mother to discover their expressiveness. For the sensemotor play we will choose benches, mats, balls, cushions, rollers, etc. For the symbolic play, cushions, cords, plush puppets, fabrics, etc. For the cognitive play, crayons, small wood cubes, laces, etc. Also, we must have background music which will help us contain the mother-child interaction.
- THE WORKSHOP ROOM
The workshop room is the physical place where the spaces are experienced, play is permitted through an insuring order. The room is the place of the sensemotor pleasure, the place of psychomotor expressiveness, the place of communication, the place of the wish for the child and his/her mother.
The workshop structure is based on three moments on which our "intervention" will focus: the initial rite, the relational play and the final rite.
The initial rite is essential as it will facilitate an environment of confidence permitting the mother to become connected to her child through the play without fearing rejection. There, the characteristics of the session will be pointed out: to make themselves comfortable, to take off their shoes, the regulations and rules of the session are reminded: basically, they can play in the whole room which is prepared for both of them; they cannot hurt each other, they must be alert, they must respect the other people. We will also point out which will be the signal to begin and end the session.
The relational play, this is the time when the mother-child dyad brings into the room: the space, the objects to carry out their "play". First we wait and observe the evolution of the responses from the dyad and as it finds communication codes, our intervention won't be necessary but we will always be present to contain the relationship.
The final rite, after the signal, the dyad might end progressively their interaction and go to the place of beginning. At this moment, a share of meanings of what they lived will be encouraged, causing in them a systematic process of goal-cognition, transforming their personal experiences into learning.
INTERVENTION IN THE SESSION
Our intervention must favor the step from the passive wish to the active wish, from immobility to mobility. B. AUCOUTURIER states that the attitudes of the facilitator (teacher) must not be ambiguous and must fill specific functions for accepting the different productions of the mother-child interaction shown in their psychomotor expressiveness. Functions such as:
Symbolic partner, the facilitator is a fellow player but does not lead the play. He tries to help or support the mother-child wing to introduce into the interaction for not being invaded by emotion as it will obstruct their evolution. In such a way, it has sense within the context.
To listen to the dyad thanks to the tonic empathy, that is, to receive emotionally the child and his/her mother and not analyze them. It is a call to quit prejudices, to permit us become sensitive to their reactions.
To be symbol of law and security, where the law is not conceived as authoritarianism but as a positive and permanent value, assuming that in this world nothing happens at random, that everything is wonderfully structured. Therefore, the order is the law of things, guarantee of permanence.
To be a mirror in the dyad relationship. Interactions must be observed as a mirror where nothing is interposed, just reflected. It helps to give significance to their interaction.
Language and voice, given the importance of language as a way of communication. The verbal and non-verbal way must be used, showing coherence between the body and verbal language.
The workshop has permitted us to observe the changes produced in mothers and children. The mothers have been more affective and receptive with their children and took advantage of the workshop space to develop communication codes that permit them a tonic and affective approach to their children.
The dyad is put under a situation of creativity, releasing them from the rigidity of the context.
It permits to go through the movement toward a free expression between the dyad.
It has led toward a progressive establishment of situations within reach of the mother and his/her child for the motor and affective adaptation through the spaces and specific materials.
It has revealed situations suggested from imagination that will serve as starting point for further relationships.
The workshop has been a moment of relational, spontaneous, creative play, of discoveries, which has led them toward establishing significant communication codes for them.
In such a way that their knowledge and practice help us to understand and improve the relationship between them, with the objects and the persons around them.
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