Exploring the Word in Colour and Speech: Therapist Katherine Rudolph
Primary School Student: Last months of Class 5 – Beginning months of Class 6.
Reasons for Therapy: Target of bullying, needs strengthening of the
Needs self-confidence, has problems with Self-expression, Timidity, and Insecurity.
Course of Therapy:
Work with the Platonic Solids Metamorphosis,
Speech exercises interspersed with the narrative of a Story in Motion,
Illustrative colour work with pastels,
Breathing games throwing a ‘comet’ ball.
Impulse for Speech, Colour, and Modelling
Isa is an attractive young girl with brown hair and brown eyes, She is of normal size and height for her age. She seems to enjoy speaking during the word games, throwing, catching and movement come easy to her. Her voice is weak and the breathing comes from the chest instead of the diaphragm. When asked, she can make her voice stronger. On occasion while doing speech exercises ( Flip-flap, March smarten ten etc.) she has spoken with assertion, healthily from the diaphragm. With encouragement she is able to step with the rhythms as well.
Isa has a real sense for colour and drawing. While doing artwork, she is deeply engaged in the project. A plasticine picture might also be of great benefit, because of the gradual will effort needed to complete it. Visual means for self-expression should be sought, with the intent of leading to more verbalisation.
Isa can also engage well in the modelling of Platonic Solids. With some help and positive feedback she has proceeded through the Sphere to the Tetrahedron, the Cube, the intermediate Octahedron Stump, the Octahedron, and then again back to the Octahedron Stump which eventually leads on to the Icosahedron, and the Pentagonal Dodecahedron.The last two should actually be done after the Eighth Class. But all can be done in paper cut-outs.
Isa seems to need support, and assurance that she is doing well, for when she tried to do the Octahedron Stump at home, she said ‘I botched it up’. Her self-image needs a lot of support at this point. Imbuing her with steadfastness, certainty, love, hope and trust takes time, as it does for all budding individuals. Early pubescent times call for change in the bodily chemistry, and equal change in the Psyche. Seeing metamorphoses in nature (the life cycle of a butterfly) as well as in the Platonic Solids could be of value.
Flow of Speech and Breath
Thinking and speaking are deeply interrelated. The Crossing Movements (moving the ball from hand to hand in rhythm) between left and right, as well as all the speech exercises given, need to be practiced. Thinking is benefited by games throwing the ‘comet.’ on the breath, which Isabella seems to enjoy. She needs help at home to carry this. Speaking the exercises she has been given so far with the throwing movement in companionship of parents will gradually make a big difference in her fluency and self-confidence. Regular practice at the same time of day can set up a rhythm in the midst of our sometimes, ‘chaotic’ civilisation. This work can gradually transform and ‘order’ the psyche. That is the effect of healthy speech exercises. It also disperses self-consciousness. Sparking interest in the Story in Motion as a mystery-adventure also allows Isabella to ‘forget self-consciousness”.
Balance of Vowels, Quality of Voice
Isa needs vowels exercises to help restore strong life forces. Her feelings need to be released. The placement of vowels is important to the strengthening effect. Slurred sentences sometimes occur, due to insecurity. Singing could be of help as well, but, for some reason, Isabella is too self-conscious to sing at this time.
Balance of Consonants
The palatal sounds, K G H bring with them a natural strengthening of the will. Isa’s S sometimes has a tendency for a lateral lisp. Therefore S exercises (Slinging, slanting and jingling…) should be continued. Easy striding and speaking can be practiced. ‘K L S F M ‘, as well as ‘Whom, Hahm, Ham, Him.’ This deepens the rhythm in the diaphragm. Consonants can help bring one ‘down to earth’. Alliteration can be found in many of the verses given. Centring the individual in this way can bring out talents and expression. The tendency to negation and retreating introversion can change to one of positive striving, but the desire for this new image has to be present. This can help Isa to eventually ‘hold her own’ in the social sphere.
Only a beginning has been made here. I believe that further work is necessary at this point. The potential for change and development can be seen in Isa. She needs more help working with the exercises at home. Without this there will not be a great chance for improvement. Emphasis on what Isa has been able to accomplish is important. The verses she has learned, and positive feedback – about her artistic work and her efforts to speak more strongly and distinctly – are important. She does not see her good points enough, and thus needs to improve and change her image of herself. Care must be taken to have her ask questions at the times when she doesn’t understand something. Self-esteem is not lost by asking questions, when one doesn’t understand. This knowledge can be a help to opening up to change and learning.