I suppose it could be called interesting …

The day started quite well, this was yesterday and I know I’m a day late but I’m still recovering!!! So it was explained to me that it was a meeting with H****, the person who had done a ‘sensory assessment’ for R*** to explain the results of the assessment and how we can move forward. That’s how it was explained and that’s what K*** thought was going to happen.

It was quite a pleasant drive, and the traffic was a lot lighter than the last time we drove that way, a couple of weeks before. As a result, we arrived a good 25 minutes early. We of course tried to convince ourselves that it was better to be early than late. Eventually H**** appeared and invited us into the meeting room. As we entered the room, my heart sank and my brain went into overdrive or maybe meltdown, I’m still not sure which.

The room was set out with 4 tables, each with 2 chairs, and each table had a number of ‘tactile’ objects. “What’s this?” I asked K***, already knowing what it was. K*** shook her head and said she did not know. I could feel the frown lines on my head beginning to deepen. It was not just a meeting, it was a course. It was a ‘session’ and I hate that kind of thing, even when I know to expect that kind of thing. Another 3 nameless people came in along with the community nurse, J** that we knew. There was one of the large ‘boom box’ type cd players, pumping out some quite loud music. The ‘meeting’ started with H**** giving a brief introduction whilst the music was still belting out. K*** told H**** that she could not hear and received a smile and a nod in response.

The music was then turned off, and we realised that it was part of the ‘session’. It went on for nearly 2 hours with a couple of ‘exercises’ in which we were made to feel a little stupid. The first one, and the most stupid of all, was when we had to wear a blindfold, rubber gloves and were told to unwrap this object, then cut it into 4 pieces and place one piece in our mouths. I tried for slightly less than 30 seconds before stopping. It was supposed to show give us an indication about sensory deprivation. I felt stupid and angry, especially when we were told that ‘two people had done it yesterday’!!!!!

As I mentioned earlier I hate this kind of interactive group work. I have never understood why anyone would think it has any kind of benefit. To my mind, the only people that get anything from these ‘sessions’ are the people that organise them. So to all you that put normal people through the torment of ‘role play’ or ‘group session work’ or whatever you like to call them, just ask yourselves “Does everyone like this kind of thing?” I think you may find the answer is a huge NO!!!

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