When we first met Chris, his dad John described how he was adapting his home to appeal to his son’s sensory interests – creating rooms and soundscapes in relation to his love of certain films and animations. Chris needed a more individualised programme of activities as he finds it hard to tolerate lots of noise, or lots of people and finds unexpected interaction stressful.

We introduced Jim Colquhoun, an artist who is experienced in devising sensory based activity. Dad explained what captivates Chris, what makes him laugh and the artist suggested possibilities for games, objects or environments. We talked about the ideal place for this to happen – safe spaces which would give him the freedom to roam around, make noise, listen without distraction or interruption.

We were interested in working with Chris, John and the support team to devise ways of working which would continue long after our involvement. The artist worked with John on a ‘recipe book’ full of specific ingredients, methods and possibilities for his son. They called it ‘The Little Book of Magic’.

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The book was designed as a sort of sketchbook that would evolve as everyone learned from Chris’ responses and as his staff team tried out their own ideas.

Each page is introduced by a fact suggested by dad, followed by lots of related suggestions from the artist. The opposite page has been left blank so that staff, with the support of the artist, can write down their own responses and suggestions.

The book is a simple tool, a creative thinking resource to support and inspire people top follow through on their own ideas as well as recreate some of the activity that’s worked best for him.

Read and download the book free here

We are currently working in two community venues – a community centre where Chris  has sole access to two large spaces, and a church hall that can be used as a listening space without and distractions.

The little book of magic will grow and change over time.

Artlink are happy to present the work to other teams and offer mentoring support to adapt this way of working to your own situations.

Contact Kara Christine

0131 229 3555


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