Tasks with shared physical interactions

Recognising the quantity of touch involved within a touch involves an understanding of exactly how to complete the task yourself and where you can not be involved or have to be involved. Having control over the physical environment is extremely important. But it is also important to make sure that you yourself are physically comfortable and are meeting your own health needs within the task. If you are tall and working with young children, how do you cope with sitting on such low chairs? If you aren’t tall enough as an Occupational Therapist, how do you easily reach the suspension equipment or safely support kids in certain type of swings? Do you adjust the tasks to suit your own needs and the child’s needs whilst still working towards the same goals? Yes.

Physical and emotional fatigue are a huge risk when working with chronic conditions both for the individual and for the carers. Heightened fatigue can also be a core part of the health or disability in the first place. How does that impact on how quickly tasks need to be completed? Or on how much physical support is then asked for? Is it easier to use a wheelchair for individuals who can walk but have poor balance and who fatigue quickly so that the entire family can go out for the entire day rather than for the duration of how long the individual can walk for.

How close do you sit when helping? Do you lean over or do you demonstrate physically? Visual supports can keep those adults at a distance rather than being up close for students who need instructional help but want their personal space kept to a bigger distance. Some students no longer need visual supports when they are comfortable with the shared interactions for the tasks being completed.