Touching Tribute

Hello again. Lin just told me she was all caught up with my pages. Silly girl! [Lin/Linda: I should know to keep my mouth shut!]

Either the muse has struck again or I am just trying to avoid doing real work. Not sure but I have some page ideas!

This morning when I was scrubbing the tub – in the corner, in the dark and with extremely poor contrast – I found myself running my hand over the porcelain (or whatever it is they make tubs out of these days). The soap scum was bumpy and I could feel where I needed to put more effort.

I started to think about how often anymore​ I use touch. If I cannot decide what something is by looking at it, I touch it. Often just feeling if it is hard or soft will give the necessary clues for identification.

We all ‘know’ we should harness our other senses but we can be self-conscious about touching things. I found Chapter 3: Encouraging Vision Through Touch (chapter 3 from what? No clue) and in there it is said America as a society is very avoidant of touch. How many times as a child were you warned not to touch? While we still have those directives in our heads, they won’t serve us well now we are visually impaired.

However, how much sense does it make trying to find the keyhole with poor vision when all you really have to do to succeed is run your fingers around the knob? Isn’t it better to feel the end of a screwdriver than to put it right up next to a vulnerable eye? (Examples from “Chapter 3” with thanks). Some of this stuff sounds like common sense but common sense is not all that common!

I have been looking for exercises to develop the tactile sense in adults. I have had zero luck. There are dozens of offerings if you want to learn about visually impaired and deaf-mute blind kiddos. Just nothing for us ‘older children’.

So, not being able to quote an expert, I have to offer ‘common sense’ advice. Use your sense of touch. Put your hands on things instead of your nose!

Fun facts from Getting to Know You: An Individual Differences Approach Beginning with Sensory Assessment:

  • There are six types of sensory information that touch can detect. There are deep and light touch, vibration, pain, temperature and how many points of contact there are
  • One fingertip has 9 feet of blood vessels and 9000 nerve endings
  • Hands are used to see, hear, release tension, communicate and as tools
  • Haptic perception (size, shape, temperature, hardness, texture, weight and even spatial perception) are generally developed by 15 months of age

In short, you have hands to not only manipulate your world but to explore it as well. Use your sense of touch!

Next: coming soon!

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