Sometime in November…
I went into the large open living space and stood at the large dining room table. Hi everyone, I’m Donna Grady…And then I said, “I have created a special game of matching that is fun but makes our brains and hands work at the same time…. Eventually I met each resident sitting around the table at the Assisted Living home. I explained why I was there and I showed a quick overview of the code of EyeCatch HandShape (ECHS). Then jumped right in to “hands on”, how to play the game: deciphering a 2D symbol and become 3D hand shape. Looking at the cards, there is a 4 part code.lletc. … Only two were getting it immediately. They other 4 tried and eventually got it with help.(Well, their version because of joints not being able to bend, so no “C” shape.)Most were quite amenable and it was interesting.
When the deep voiced, wheel-chair bound gentleman asked out loud to no one in particular, “what are we doing here?”, He immediately answered himself and anyone else at the table; “I don’t know”. Oh my, it made me hold in laughter and reminded me of my Dad. I was chuckling to myself how innocent but puzzled the gentleman was with why we were making hand-shapes anyway. I was not able to really answer him, (IF he wanted an answer) because I was patiently working with the lady across from him. The symbols on EyeCatch HandShape Level I that require a single finger to form the symbol seems to be especially hard for all the residents’ hands, physically and mentally. I didn’t anticipate that. But undoubtedly I saw some improvement in the group during the hour I worked with them and enjoyed the interaction. I didn’t expect to laugh so much from somewhat outwardly negative comments. Just brute honest and direct they are!
A few residents participated when one on one with them but only 2 could copy my example of a hand-shape completely on their own. So the “game” become the The Flashcard type and I would lead them through handshapes and the rest waited while I went around, resident to resident and gently folded down the unneeded thumb or helped form the number 1 hand-shape. It took quite a while for each one to have success. Which was fine to me, it’s the trying that counts. But it helped me to see that group flashcard style to be best unless each participant can understand the code in the symbol and then also to get their hands to DO it. That was a frustration for a few of them. One lady said something insightful, “we should have done this 20 years ago.”
For sure the “Studying” resident was the most able and willing to learn,easy-going and positive among them all, though he said almost nothing the whole time. I noticed as I got back around to him with the second symbol I held up, the big smiling “Studying” resident was STILL holding up his hands up in the same shape I shown 4 minutes before! I started reminding him he could put his hands back down. Also to shake them out. Mine might feel like a cramp too after 4 minutes!
So I will go back again to that Assisted Living home and engage them to play my brain/eye/hand coordinaton game but with my ipad screen for larger size card/symbol.
2/4 of the ECHS Code: Outlines looking like finger(s), are. Grey areas signify using your whole hand to create the shape