In 2011 David and I were invited down to Kent to learn about doughnuts. David had asked me previously how doughnuts were made and that he knows that they only make jam ones. I told him that they make many different flavours and shapes of doughnuts and this prompted me to write to Krispy Kreme, and to my surprise we were invited along to one of their branches at blue water shopping centre in Kent to learn how doughnuts are made and to sample some of the different flavours. I only wrote on the off chance that they may send us some vouchers and had no idea that we would be invited to a Krispy Kreme that has a working kitchen. Especially considering that the visit would involve me taking David who is both Deaf and blind. I had visions of all sorts of problems but I tend to forget that David is very gentle and careful and luckily no such problems occurred..
The day was amazing and it was very rewarding to watch David get so much out of it. It is fantastic how something so small and insignificant created this whole day of learning, which also involved taste and touch and everything needed to stimulate David. We were talked through the entire process on making doughnuts from start to finish, David also got to feel machinery and they also let him decorate and fill his own doughnut. Like many people David learns best from doing, as touch is involved.
Where there is just talk and instructions things get too complicated and it becomes very hard for him to digest the information. So this day was ideal as I could tell him the information and then it could be backed up immediately with feeling the object, or even tasting it.
It also reminded me how careful and aware that David can be. The thought of going into a reasonably small working kitchen with machinery and hot ovens was at first very worrying but David was amazing and adapted so well.
The day taught me that as long as it involves either touch taste or smell that David will be interested and engage, he may not necessarily like what he is doing but he will take in the information in that you are giving him and he will process that and bring it up at a later date – I think he is unaware that just because a topic may be grown up and serious, that it may not be boring, and that it is ok to be interested. But if any topic is relayed in a certain way that he can relate to he will learn without realising.
David was told beforehand that we would be going into a working kitchen and that the shop was open and there would be other people about working but this was not a problem in the slightest, he was careful and quiet and very inquisitive.
And the rest of the day he was asking questions about doughnuts and constantly telling me about what he had seen and felt. This is his way of reassuring he has got the information correct