Why do you see a seagull when you land on my website, which is all about Sensory Engagement work?
My formative years were spent at sea. I grew up on a concrete boat, designed by my father when he was still a student and built by my mother and father together.
A child enduring long ocean crossings is much like a child in a car on the motorway. The cry of "Are we nearly there yet?" is a familiar one.
The solution to a pestering child on a boat asking "Are we nearly there yet?" is to send them to the bowsprit under the guise of asking them to watch for land. Many hours of my childhood were spent in this way, so I know that the first sign of land after a long voyage is the gulls. They fly out to greet the boats to see if they have fish scraps for them.
I have family members with neurological differences and physical disabilities. My own professional life supporting differently-abled individuals began informally when I was 13 and worked supporting a brain-injured man to access the community. My understanding extends beyond my personal experience through the literature I have read, and also through my mother's insights. Mum worked supporting people with complex physical disabilities in her teens. All this gives me a sense of how far we have come on our journey towards inclusion. We have come a long, long way but we are not there yet.
When you see the gulls you know an ocean has been crossed but there is still a long way to go before you reach land.