Do robots dream of electric sheep? Do jaguars get dyspraxia? A show that started being just a bit of a fun watch with cute baby animals may suddenly have you looking again with your sensory goggles on.
“Mummy, you will love this programme, it’s about a jaguar cat who has poor proprioception, he doesn’t know where his legs are in space and he has to go to therapy to help to rewire his brain!”
Giles Clark is a big cat expert who runs Big Cat Sanctuary. Suddenly he is called to look after 5-day old Maya, whose jaguar mum isn’t caring for her. Soon it is apparent that Maya doesn’t always play as expected. She brought to the vet and has visual and neurological assessments including an MRI. I especially felt for Maya and Giles as a mom who recently had similar assessments carried out on one of my own kiddos.
Their end assessment for Maya the jaguar? A difficulty with proprioception (yes, the word proprioception was actually used) and some ataxia in her back legs. A sensory rich environment was created including some of the things we might recommend for our human service users: swimming and an obstacle course.
Those of us who use Ayres Sensory Integration (ASI) to inform our practice with people may have found ourselves ticking off the fidelity tool boxes:
A qualified therapist? … Giles is definitely a cat expert
A thorough assessment? … Maya hasn’t been SIPTed but it is heartwarming watching her be attentively assessed throughout the process.
A safe environment? … Yes!
A therapeutic alliance? … Yes!
and goals? … Definitely
A just right challenge is quickly found too when Maya attempts to drag something along her obstacle course.
Do you see more ASI links? Post in the comments section and let us know
Watch here on BBC iplayer
For those of you who are not in the UK, I have embedded youtube links below to the same programme