Are you a sparrow or a pigeon?

Looking out at the birds in my garden I was reminded about a story I used to use that I had forgotten recently.  Many people with learning difficulties are very ungrounded that manifests as being wobbly when they are stressed – you could easily knock them over, which puts people off of sports, causes them to be called clumsey and in my book Bridges to Success – how to transform Learning Difficulties there are 2.5 chapters dedicated to the other symptoms, causes and possible solutions. Grounding is vital for many health issues and learning difficulties.

This stress comes from a feeling of fear and/or not being safe; the very old part of our brain that triggers fight, flight or freeze.

Now how do sparrows and pigeons connect to this?  We were looking for a metaphor to help us explain this to others.  If you look at a sparrow, they are very twitchy, always on the lookout for predators  they buzz around very busy and at the slightest hint of danger they are off.  Now the pigeons in my tree seem to know a thing or two.  They sit there in the tree, content with the world, slightly puffed up and mostly interested in chatting to their mates.  They have seen my dogs race out into the garden and frankly they know that neither they nor the local cat is never going to get far enough up the tree to bother them, so safety doesn’t seem to be number one on their priority list.  They are calm and contented to just pick away at the buds on the tree and all is right in their world.

So take a look at anyone you know with learning difficulties.  Are they a sparrow or a pigeon.  Does their state change throughout the day and what causes them to be more sparrowlike?

About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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