9:33:56 PM

Sensory Overload


Group circle

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Non-verbal communication

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Listening with your body

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This is a very prop heavy exercise.

I use the following:

- an inflatable or squishy ball, one that is easy to grasp. I have a small inflatable world ball. Looks like a globe.

- A clipboard with paper and pen

- a hat, put it on the next persons head

- my daughter's ViewMaster w/ a disc of animals, say what they see as they pass it around

- bag of crackers, eat some

- paddleball

- a shoe, tie the laces in a bow

- bubbles, blow some

- a secret, whisper one

Depending on how many people I have used more items.

Everyone gets into a circle.

I tell them that, " The ball is the heartbeat of the circle. No matter what you cannot let the ball drop or stop. As I pass around the ball, think about how you need to give and take the ball. After the ball is going around the circle a few times, I will introduce other things that need to go around the circle and I will give instructions to the person on my left or right and pass the item on and it will contiunue around the circle. Remember the ball is the most important thing. The rest of the items are not as important.

I have a table or chair with all the items ready to go. You can use whatever you wish, but make them active.

I slowly introduce the items and give clear instruction to the person I am handing it to. I have stopped when al of the items are going around. Sometimes i have taken them out one by one when they reach me til only the ball is left. Other times the ball has dropped when there are a lot of items going around the circle.

- Don't introduce the items too fast. I usually let one go all the way around a few times.

How did that feel? What did you think? * Also watch for what people in the circle are watching out for themselves and hich are natural team players and are helping each other.

Each time I have played this game new aplications arise. You need to be open with your expectations. Usually from the questions feelings will come out. I feel it is alot like our own normal day when we are trying to get through one task and are bombarded with more and more "things". But I feel it is an excellent example to think about the world of the person with Alzheimer's. That they are just trying to concentrate on the one thing. Which is represented by the world, but more senory objects and people are interrrupting their focus and it gets harder to deal with everything that is handed to you.

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©2003 Karen Stobbe and "In The Moment". Material may be freely distributed with proper accreditation.