Some of the work I do...
Looking after your child's sensory needs during this time of isolation - Blog launching Monday 22nd March, 2020!
Sensory play for babies
This group I ran from my home on a weekly basis involving my baby Erica. Erica has loved exploring and developing her senses with her new friends. This group has provided me with the opportunity to experiment with different activities and apply my professional knowledge. It has also given the space for mums to problem solve together and for me to informally advise on any issues there maybe with the development of individuals.
Hyper-mobility and Dysgraphia
Recently I have been involved in a research project with an osteopath, looking at the relationship between core strength and pain while writing. Provisional findings suggest that improving a child’s core strength and correcting their posture while sitting at a desk decreases pain while handwriting. I have taken these provisional findings to support teachers in encouraging good seating posture across the school. .
Sensory Space Set-up
I have now set-up two spaces, both with very different budgets! I am a very creative person and therefore am confident that I can create an effective sensory space on even the smallest of budget. I believe this to be an essential skill, as often sensory equipment is very expensive, and not having the funds should not mean that a child goes without an essential space! It is not only being able to create a space that is important, it is also essential that these spaces can be used when I am not there. I therefore ensure that I train all staff on the use of a sensory space and provide a booklet of suggested activities for children to do within the space.
I work closely with individuals that have recently been told about their diagnosis of autism. This is often a very frightening time, and so we always begin by discussing what autism is and I reassure them that it is not a disease or anything bad, just that they have a different way of looking at the world. We then over a course of sessions go on to discussing what autism means to them, what do they excel at and what do they struggle with. Depending on the child I then go onto situation analysis and self-regulation.
I worked with a year 6 child on his transition to secondary school. Together we produced a booklet 'All About Me' which included what his autism meant for him, his strengths, struggles and tools for success. This was an incredibly rewarding project, as I saw this young man take charge of his autism and grow in confidence. He even began to disclose to others that he had autism, something he would never have done previously!
This group involved working with a small group of children to teach them about self-regulation. Together we tried lots of different activities, and the children put together their own self-regulation toolbox containing activities that could 'speed' them up and 'cool' them down.
Morning 'Shake' up...
This programme is delivered first thing in the morning and is aimed towards those with a diagnosis of ASD or who display ASD type behaviour. The group explores sensory play and aims to develop gross and fine motor skills through fun and engaging activities. This term's theme is 'Down by the riverside'. We always start with a warm-up, then we practise gross motor movement, before we learn a new pre-writing shape which we explore through different mediums. Each session ends with a cool down. The children really enjoy this morning group, and noticeable improvement in their forming of pre-writing shapes has been observed - an example of before and after work can be seen in the gallery on this page.
‘Independent Walking Group’
This group has been formed to look at road safety awareness amongst 6 key stage 2 students. The group learn to work together as well as develop skills in risk assessment, planning and time management.
Motor skills ...
This programme is delivered to children in year 1 and year 2. It consists of an engaging gross motor exercise routine, followed by making picnic food out of dough. A daily intervention programme is also provided - children make a piece of ‘picnic’’ food each morning and practise the exercise routine with a teacher assistant in the afternoon. The group will end in an end of year picnic.
'Party Planning Group'
This is a new group consisting of 10 sessions run with a speech and language therapist, looking at planning and having a party. We are working towards developing functional communication and skills, all while having fun.
For pictures of my work please visit my gallery.