Going to the rugby is a full on sensory experience and Lucy loves it. I’m pretty sure thougth that her experience is pretty unique to her as her senses work in different ways than we might expect.
What I’ve found really interesting as I’ve learned more about sensed is that everyones sensory world is quite differerent. Each and every person at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on a Sunday afternoon will be having quite different experiences even though they’re all at the same event.
Lucy is especially sensitive to bright lights which is why we’re usually in the Glen Tomlinson stand, it gives the best shade from the sunlight (which can be bright for her even if it’s a bit cloudy overhead) Her vision is also best when she looks at things in the lower part of her vision (so things on a desk in front of her or a person knelt by her tray are easier to see) you can see thing by the way she tilts her head up to look at people if they are stood above her.
This is a picture I took at the York game as I’d really been able to see Lucy track the players up and down the pitch even though there we were much further from the game. They action is all below her so exactly in the area where she sees best.
Games are often noisy and Lucy loves it. She’s never been at all bothered by the noise and likes it best when everyone is cheering.
Of course another dimension of the sensory experience is being outside where there’s wind and rain and hot and cold temperatures.
Not forgetting the sensory aspects of just getting to the game. Lucy loves to experience movement so the drive there and the walk around the stadium to our seats is all part of the experience for her. I think the sense of movement we all have is one that we don’t think of so much but its really important for Lucy especially as unless she is out of her chair on the floor or in water she is not in control of the movement.
You might notice that some of the time Lucy has a ‘chest harness’ on when she’s sitting in her seat. She doesn’t need this all of the time and sometimes will be without it as this allows her freedom of movement. When she is wearing it it has two very important jobs. One is to support her physically if she’s feeling tired. Another is to help make sure she can sense her body and where it is (called proprioception). It’s a really important sense and being able to feel where your body is can be really soothing, think of things like weighted blankets. Doing exercise and work like lifting and pushing all helps to develop our sense of our body and some of these things are hard to access for Lucy. (Notable here is that I heard a podcast the other week which talked about the benefits of games like rugby for feedback to this sense of body awareness because of the tackles.)