Friday, September 08, 2006

Getting what you need

Every week they bring some new orphans to hippotherapy, but there are a few regulars who come back every week. It’s interesting to see the different ways they get what they need. Haifa is unceasingly patient. She can’t walk or crawl and she can’t talk. She lies where she is placed perfectly calmly until someone catches her eye. Then she unfailingly gives that person a radiant smile, instantly rewarding their attention.

Abdu Simi, by contrast, is a live wire. He is blind, but he can walk, and he does, lurching from one handhold to the other until he grabs an adult. Then he holds on and demands attention, by mimicking whatever they’re saying (“Hello! How are you!” is what he chants endlessly at me; he uses Arabic on the Arabic speakers; I imagine he’d use Japanese if any Japanese volunteers showed up), or by throwing chairs, or by hitting them if he’s run out of other ideas.

Different strategies, same outcome.

No comments: