Sunday, May 3, 2020


The human body has limitations. The human spirit is boundless.
~Dean Karnazes

Two poems for TIWYK taken from Kat Apel's middle grade verse novel, ‘On Track,’ published by UQP, 2015.

TOBY: Assessment

‘The OT is an
occupational therapist,’
Mum tells me as we drive.

I nod,
face straight ahead
and try to tell myself
that everything will be okay.

The OT is younger
than I imagined.
She says to call her Lisa.

I feel squirmy about
what Lisa’s going to ask me.
But I’m here and it’s
my choice.
I don’t like it, but I don’t like
what my hands write either
and I want to fix it.

Lisa gives me a pencil and paper.
I have to ‘scribe’ a passage
and I think,

No way!
This is what I hate.
Please don’t judge me on my handwriting.

The lines get closer and closer,
the words smaller and smaller
and the clock
ticks louder and louder
as my eyes blur,
my hand burns and
letters sprawl
out of shape,
out of place,
out of control,
out of time.


‘I’m sorry,’
I mutter.
‘I couldn’t go any faster.
My hand hurts
and the lines kept
jumping and …

I just can’t write neat.’


TOBY: Knots

Lisa asks me questions
and gets me to read
and predict patterns
like I’m a baby.

I think she’s assessing
my brain and I want to yell,
I’m not stupid!
I can do this stuff!

But then Lisa gives me muscle exercises
on the floor
and she ties me in knots
with my own body.


Info Kat shared from Sensory Direct:

"Proprioception is the sense and awareness of our own body’s position and movement. It is our awareness of our body’s orientation in space, and the direction, speed, and extent of the movement of our body and limbs. This information is detected by sensory receptors in our muscles, ligaments, and joints, and then processed through the central nervous system … Poor proprioception makes maintaining bodily posture and moving with a feeling of safety and security difficult. It affects awareness of the position of the body, arms, and legs.

A child with a poor proprioceptive sense may…

* play roughly; pushing too hard, shouting, jumping, or running excessively
* appear clumsy
* have poor fine motor skills, finding writing and drawing difficult
* display repetitive and self-stimulatory behaviour such as spinning, rocking or fidgeting
* like to chew on their fingers, clothes, pens, toys, or other objects
* appear uncoordinated and have difficulty with large motor skills such as jumping, climbing, or bike riding
* frequently bump into other people and objects"

1 comment:

Liz Steinglass said...

There is so much to learn and know about other people and their challenges. Thanks, Kat. Thanks, Tabatha.