Body Awareness

Learning labels for individual and specific body parts is often taught as a language based activity, so that kids know how to name each limb etc. School then adds in more vocabulary during ‘science’ lessons, or also in personal development lessons. As kids age they learn about additional layers that are used to describe the different body systems that service specific purposes / functions. These layers of words are not or may not be those which they continue to use on an everyday basis unless there is a medical / health / personal reason as to why the additional vocabulary is being used.

I’ve got a sore arm? Where is is sore? Here (pointing at it). What happens if this is the ‘only’ vocabulary that kids / adults have to talk about how their body is ‘feeling.

‘sore’ + ‘arm’ + pointing with finger at a location.

What ‘level’ of clinical information does that give? Yet at school kids learn about other measurement words. Yet they may not necessarily use them to talk about their personal body needs when ill.

What is the lived experience or understanding of the difference between a lack of sensory awareness and getting constant bumps or bruises that often come with poor coordination versus a lack of sensation and ability to feel your legs that might come with other chronic conditions e.g. diabetic neuropathy. Supporting kids to develop greater general language use for commenting about the details happening within their own bodies is important so that they can provide greater feedback to the medical specialists working with them. eg. Psychiatrist, Neurologist, Gastroenterologist. This can be especially important when needing to support kids / adults to talk about medication side effects so that they can think through how their body is reacting in certain circumstances and separate that out from other regulatory difficulties which may be happening all at the same time.