Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Learning Curve 7

There were three sessions on Wednesday.  A lot happened in those sessions with two jaw-dropping results.  One was the way that Alex was able to hug Percy into what can only be described as a drugged state.  The other was the way he began to move as a result.  Emotions and physiology go hand in hand in my opinion.  Emotional tension leads to physical tension which locks in the emotional tension.  Trying to release one without the other creates temporary results at best.  The sessions Alex designed for Percy were a perfect blend of mental, emotional and physical stretching.  

I've consolidated the 3 sessions into one report for the purpose of this post:

Goal- continue to settle, build conditioned reinforcers, explore the turnaround.
Location- same figure 8 and basketball setup as yesterday afternoon plus a teeter totter.
Interest- yes in people and toys: he came right over, helped with manure picking (which he loves to do at home), offered hugs
Time- 10:30, 12:30 and 3:
Tempo- basket ball:3.5, figure eight: 4, "gives like butter" (Alex)
Equipment- cones, mat, hoop and loopie toy, round pen, teeter totter
Reinforcers- hay stretcher pellets, the basketball and teeter totter grew as reinforcers, the mat definitely became more reinforcing than ever.
Emotion- from tense to a drugged, sleepy high
Distractions- I tried standing on the shavings bags at one point which Percy did NOT like.  "Well aren't you volatile" (Alex). At the end he could be mildly distracted by noises outside but he came right back emotionally and attentively.  He wanted his head down.

In the initial session, we took turns with him.  One would do a tour around the figure 8, asking for little gives even when he was "squeezed" in the trouble spot. On completion of a circle, we'd stop on the mat for some hugs, then go off on the other portion of the 8 and back to the mat again.  When he gave really good responses to the bodywork/hugs, we'd go play basketball with the three of us and play on the new teeter totter.  

On the circles we were looking for good movement- straightness on a circle, yielding of his hips when asked without the tension and stiffness seen in the previous video.  On the mat, we were looking for gives to the hugs, using Alex's familiar definition of a give: "the body part should come alive with energy and move in the direction I want it to go".  The basketball allowed Percy to learn a new and fun game- a mental exercise.  The teeter totter was a new mental puzzle as well which also incorporated body control and physical stretches.  

Here is Percy on the teeter totter:
video

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