Five Senses - Friend or Foe

In order to explain Daniel, I must share a bit about his older sister, Sarah. Sarah is my very own “Crocodile Hunter”. Nothing frightens her. From the moment she crawled, her mission was to find and touch all all the Lord’s creatures.

The list is extensive, ranging from potato bugs, scorpions, earth worms, fruit bats, bat rays, beluga, killer whales, dolphins, koalas, kangaroos, lovely boas, lizards, stunning pythons, lobsters, starfish, camels, elephants, llamas, and a baby alligator, to name a few.

Her equally extensive domesticated animal vitae includes the more mundane and ordinary fair and farm assortment of turkeys, duck, geese, cows, horses, and pigs, impressive, in her eyes, as any exotic creature.

My radical constructivism pedagogy views those accumulated experiences as exposing Sarah to invaluable stimuli – touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste – developing critical scientific thinking. They also serve to inspire her creative side – extemporaneous song, praising the majesty and magnificence of the created world.

And what of Daniel? The simple answer is, while she responds with joyful singing, he responds with frenzied screaming. The same stimuli that heightens Sarah’s sense of wonder, diminishes his ability to function.

We’re constantly striving to effect a balance, so that his peace-shattering reactions don’t diminish her “normal” experience but likewise, protecting him from her world of scary looking creatures, always-in-motion constantly-talking humans, and activities for which he is not prepared.

Sarah, tightly packed against the touch tank at Acadia’s Mt. Desert Oceanarium, is loving every second touching the horseshoe crab. Daniel, having just finished an above-average meltdown, drawing a few shocked comments from those around us, is recovering in his father’s arms, removed from the overload assaulting his senses.

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