Praxis and Rolling with the Corona-Coaster

A roller coaster ride is known for its speed, intensity of highs and lows, unexpected turns, and even elements like flames or splashing through a water tunnel, adding more fun to the adventure. It is described by the thrill seekers as exciting. They will go back for more, or look for even bigger and faster rides. Some might choose simply not to get on a roller coaster ride, and for others it will be their worst nightmare.

The past couple of months have been compared to a roller coaster ride by various people due to the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on our individual preferences, perceptions, and ideas, we have all had different experiences of lock down, as well as the ever-changing rules and regulations. Some are taking one day at a time, while others are able to care for their families and even beyond,supporting their communities.

The dilemma with this metaphor, is that a typical roller coaster ride is confined to a specific context such as a theme park. People have the choice (i.e. sense of autonomy) to go on them or not. It has a definite beginning and end. The external elements are controlled. There is some kind of protection from falling off (e.g. seat belt), and there are safety precautions to prevent the coaster from derailing. We can see it, and can form some idea of what is to be expected and around which exact corners the sudden drops are.

The Corona Coaster

With the proverbial Corona-coaster, it is probably like going on a roller coaster ride with a blindfold, a huge unknown. The unexpected twists and turns intensify the sensory event, never mind the risks involved when the proper safety precautions aren’t implemented.We do not have control over the fear-provoking elements, and there are so many news reports and critics, that we are not sure whose version to believe and which facts are accurate.

Illustration by Mies Jacobs

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Coping with Corona: Finding balance, getting organised and evolving into the new

This blog was published on 22 April 2020 on the SAISI website (The South African Institute For Sensory Integration)

‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’ – Alice in Wonderland

Who would have thought… it might be possible to bring the world to a standstill: from work, school, and sport, to restaurants, movies, flights, conferences and many more unthinkable events? That lions would be resting on a golf course, that penguins would walk down the street, and that a kudu could calmly roam a suburb. It was also noted that the pollution levels have dropped so significantly, that the Himalayas can be seen from 200km away.

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The Show Must Go On

This blog was published on 11 December 2019 on the SAISI website (The South African Institute For Sensory Integration)

“The Show Must Go On” is a popular phrase we are all familiar with. The well-known hit song by Queen, “The show must go on” (1991) has a catchy melody, but when we listen closely to the lyrics, it is tainted with anguish and suffering.The phrase was first coined by a circus back in the late 1800’s. Although there is no record of which circus used it first, the phrase caught on and was used by other circuses. It was used by the ringmaster when there was an incident, such as an animal getting loose. It was an effort to keep patrons calm and reassured. “The show must go on“ was printed in the Evansville (IL) Daily Journal on September 12, 1866 and in The Morning Republican (Scranton, PA) on December 13, 1875. In the 1900’s, the term spread to all of show business as a catch phrase meaning keep the show going regardless of what interferes. The expression soon applied to any kind of “show,” even a political show. ( “The show must go on” became a proverbial phrase widely used in quotes and in various contexts since the 1800’s, and is still current today in the 21st century.

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The Purpose and Power of Play: Part II

This blog was published on 2 October 2019 on the SAISI website (The South African Institute For Sensory Integration) 

Today we look at the theory of play in the second of a two-part blog post written by Stefanie Kruger, an ASI-certified therapist, long-standing board member of SAISI and lecturer.

At the end of last term, we went grocery shopping to buy a few things for the weekend, when my kids saw the shelf with toys. Usually I would walk straight past it, but we all had a happy holiday feeling and we paused to take a look. The Rubix cubes caught their eye, and they pleaded to buy it with their pocket money which made my OT-mommy-heart proud.

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The Purpose and Power of Play : Part I

This blog was published on 25 September 2019 on the SAISI website (The South African Institute For Sensory Integration)

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood” – Fred Rogers

From the “old days” to our current times a.k.a “van toeka tot nou”

Our children often ask us how things were in the “old days”. And much to their surprise, there were no cell phones, internet, wifi, Xbox and tablets when we were growing up. We grew up in a time where we could ride our bikes in the neighbourhood, or roller skate to our friends’ houses, and swim until it got dark. We made mud-cakes and had pretend tea parties, or built forts and had a pretend war against a fierce enemy. We camouflaged ourselves with charcoal stripes on our cheeks and leaves in our hair. We wore uniforms that we created from scrap pieces of material from our mothers’ sewing cupboards. It is true that times have changed and that we should not compare the way our children are brought up with the way things were in the “old days”. The needs of children have stayed the same, but they are somehow expected to walk, talk, read, behave and perform as soon as possible, even before they are neurologically or emotionally ready. In fact, everything has sped up in this modern day and age, even for us as parents.

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