“Living Room” my grateful reblog from Mark Neary’s wonderful compassionate writing

This is why I’m not entirely happy with what passes for ‘reflective practice’ in our beleaguered occupation of work for, and of, play, which I love.

I learnt a long time ago, from Carol Benson of HIPPO, a playscheme charity for children with disabilities in Bradford, that we can learn so much about playwork, in an accelerated, more vivid way from playwork with these lovely and challenging special children.
In the same way, Mark Neary’s disgust at the form-filling butterfly-impaling, data-grinding mechanisms of a machine which processes the raw material of human love and compassion into targets met and outcomes ticked, and his fierce, primal, oceanic love-flooded response to it, in the form of another series of snapshots from the continuing story of his son Stephen, who he loves, quietly, more than anything else in the world, offers us a far more eloquent critique of  that thing that gets called ‘reflective practice’ than I have, so far, been able to muster.

Love, Belief and Balls

I thought I’d start the new year with an untypical cheery post – the story of Steven through his living room wall.

Yesterday, I wrote the post about the awful FACS assessment and how I don’t recognise Steven at all from the reams of paperwork it produced. What I’d love to do is to send them a photo of his living room wall and say – “Stick this on the front of your file – it tells you everything you need to know about him”.

When we moved into Steven’s new home in November, I was determined that the living room would be his room, in his house. Walk into the room and there is very little sign that I live there at all. All my stuff – my books, my DVDs are in my bedroom. And everytime I go into the living room, I smile as the shelf units…

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