How are you feeling, what are you seeing when you do the service
It’s incredibly heartwarming to witness the strengthening of the bond between me and my partner Shaban. I have worked with him consecutively since the beginning of the year and still enjoy the conversations we have before and after our sessions begin. It is clear by the sense of guilt I feel when I am unable to attend a session that on my behalf, there is a great level of responsibility and fulfillment I receive from the time spent with Shaban.
What are you learning so far?
So far I have learnt to techniques that help me overcome times when Shaban has trouble understanding a certain task or skill. Often I will ask him to pause, observe how I do the skill and then carry it out himself. It is in these moments I recognize the importance of adapting to an individual’s pace. Many people have the misconception that individuals with ID are unable to activities independently and require constant support, when in actuality they are well capable of accomplishing most tasks, but simple register and process the steps at a slower pace. In bustling nation like Singapore, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and pace of life, a pace some may find difficult to understand. When interacting with individuals with ID we must consciously make the empathic decision to increase our patience.
What impact are your actions having?
There is a definitive impact of the friendship we have created, as if i miss a session Shaban will be sure to tell me off the next session. I also notice SHaban opening up more regarding the topics we discussed – initially talking about what he does at MINDS centre and we now discuss topics such as his plans for holidays, his favourite things about his families and the little details that make him uniquely himself (like the love his ‘supreme’ shirt).
What knowledge, skill or understanding might you develop & how might you know?
The skill of developing meaningful relationships despite the possible language or communication obstacle. This is an incredibly important skill especially given the global network of people I am working with and will work with in the future. Inherently the shared platform of yoga acts as vessel allowing us to build a deeper layer of comfort and openness then a regular face to face conversation.
Are your initial goals still meaningful?
My initial goal to expand conversation with Shaban has clearly been reached in my opinion, but there is definitive area for further growth and comfort. Furthermore I’ve realised the most beneficial thing I can do to extend Shaban’s interest and level of yoga is to integrate a sense of challenge. Shaban is genuinely passionate about yoga and is incredibly immersed and devoted to each of the yoga skills we practice during our sessions, showing an incredible level of flexibility and concentration.
What evidence do you have?
The most clear evidence presented is the clients themselves. Shaban has shown great measures of improvement: He can stand and bend to touch the floor with his legs fully straight, independently isolate areas of his body to tense and relax and remembers to maintain proper breathing. All of these things he was not fully polished in before.
Are there any other forms of evidence you could use?
Apart from the observational evidence, there isn’t much that can support and verify my claims (eg photographs and pictures)
LO7 – Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions.
This Yoga service with clients from tampines minds raises certain ethical questions. One large one being society’s responsibility in bettering the wellbeing and livelihood of those challenged with intellectual and physical disability. I believe I am actively contributing to improving Shaban’s social skills through our weekly catch up and conversations. Furthermore I believe the sense of empowerment he gains is greatly beneficial towards confidence in social situations. Although this service stands primarily as a brief outlet and opportunity to get strengthen physical and mental health and wellbeing, it also functions as a point of enhancing their sense of belonging and satisfaction of life. I do believe as a member of a national, and global community I have a vital responsibility to create a more socially inclusive society for those who hold a primary disadvantage and often are treated unfairly.