As time has gone on and no, we’re not “back to normal” with daily social interaction, I realize this therapy game couldn’t be played in live groups as I’ve been doing and posting about for many months. Rolling with the changes, I will adapt it to an app format. The flashcard version is available for download on the “Buy” tab now. The flashcard powerpoint version can be helpful to keep 6 foot distancing by projecting onto a central, large screen for all to see, rather than poker size playing cards
Tragedy back East sent me flying for another funeral. But just as clearly as losing one my best friends is sad and disappointing for me, seeing so many of my friends all at once was fantastic. While staying at several people’s homes overnight, I played all three levels and was thrilled to see a few new approaches to forming the 2D symbol with hands. Watching my friend Debbie trying to avoid using the middle finger was hilarious. There are new Youtube videos up on the card game’s channel : ECHS EyeCatch HandShape that show friends playing this visual game. http://https://youtu.be/k37cK7DVhtY
One Mom vs 4 boys and 6 baskets of laundry at the laundromat after working all day. The boys were between 11 to 3 years old. Eleven tried his best to entertain the youngest and keep him from running away. The other two just ran. Around…trying to avoid people pushing laundry carts. Woops. After 6 minutes the guests and attendant became disciplinarians, so the middle two came to sit near me and started crashing their cars into each other across the table. I also lasted 6 minutes. Out to the car, back in with ECHS Level I. “Hey, do you guys want to play a game?” Both boys paid full attention and by the end were successful in figuring out the code. The one on one attention probably helped but there they sat, quietly working their brains and eyes. “Sponge it up”, I thought to myself. The older one had a non stop smile on his little face as he easily figured out most of the hand shapes to go along with the symbols. His Mum told me they were picking up his hearing aids the next day. EyeCatch HandShape…the novel babysitter
I will be at Bookman’s on E. Speedway Blvd “Midtown”, beside Whole Foods, on January 18, 2020 for a demonstration of my hand-shaping card game, all 3 challenge levels. Audience participation. Try your hand at something new…entertainment with benefits.
We started with 3 and Resident C played for a while but said her back hurt too much to keep sitting at the table. She could actually play the game itself rather than flash card style so that was a bummer that she dropped out. The two that compliment each other, the Russian man who loves apples and eats them to the slightest of cores, and the once very mischievous Lady F They both did great and I could see Resident R really improving and trying to figure each out himself. Very engaged. Very funny too. I was genuinely amused with both of their witty jokes and perspective. Resident R was bargaining by agreeing to try the 3rd level if he was given another apple…He played anyway. Lady F pretended to cuss then yell out “woops I caught myself.” Clever. Her grin and laugh so innocent. Then I was asking Russian Resident R to show me a “one” hand and he said “I”m already using 2 hands”. Good one. Wonder if he was often cracking jokes 20 years ago. We finished Level I, Level II, and half way through Level IIa! They had enough of concentrating and trying by then, since Level II and IIa both have 2 symbols. I am hoping we can get waivers signed next week so I can feature the two of them in pictures and videos. I noticed that many handshapes actually involved shoulders quite a bit. Hmm…hadn’t realized that, mine don’t hurt. They keep teaching me as I teach them.
A Russian man was resistant to play and in the typical senior answer, told me soon after sitting down that this doesn’t interest him and he’s not interested in trying. Well, okay then I thought. That’s abrupt and too bad. Ok, no problem, I told him and started to collect my cards. One of great caretakers there suggested I go over to a different house where the sociable One lived and she would surely want to play and take Mr. Not Interested also, because he likes Resident Sociable One. Okay let’s try that. Wow! What an incredible change in Mr. Not Interested! Night and Day! It was a beautiful thing, really. He and She were both interactive and engaged with trying this new handshape formation coordinating with a 2D symbol. Two participating residents are wonderful to work with anytime. We went through all of Level I and half of Level II. The managers in each home were very supportive and felt it was quite worth the residents’ time and effort to come back again.
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. 3D 2/4 of the ECHS Code: Outlines looking like finger(s), are. Grey areas signify using your whole hand to create the shape