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1 Massage and Children with Special/ Additional Needs

2 Special educational needs can range......from a mild and temporary learning difficulty to severe, complex and permanent difficulties that will always affect the child's learning.

3 Severe Categories.. Autism Spectrum Disorder Intellectual Disability Physical Disability or Health Impairment Multiple Disability Psychiatric Disability Vision Impairment Deaf or Hearing Impaired

4 ACTIVITY Talk to the person next to you. Which of the special/additional needs we have talked about would make massage the most challenging to implement? Why?

5 Some facts... Around 8% of Australian 0-14 year olds have a disability This equates to 300,000 children Of this number about half 150,000 children have a severe disability Almost twice as many boys as girls have a disability

6 What can help? A recent program taught 95 parents of children who had severe disabilities a simple massage routine. The program had a significantly positive effect on parents anxious mood, self-efficacy for managing children's psychosocial well-being, self-efficacy in giving massage therapy, and perceptions of children's sleeping and eating.

7 What can help cerebral palsy? Twenty pre-school CP children received 30 minutes of massage twice weekly for 12 weeks. They showed reduced spasticity, less rigid muscle tone, and improved fine and gross motor functioning. Cognition also improved as did. social scores on the Developmental Profile. There were more positive facial expressions and less limb activity during play interactions

8 What can help ADHD? ADHD adolescents received ten massage treatments over two weeks Observers rated the massage therapy group as less fidgety, and teachers reported more on-task behaviour Teachers also noticed a significant decrease in hyperactivity

9 ACTIVITY Talk to the person on the other side of you someone different! How do you think you could change, adapt, and be flexible when using the Massage in Schools Program with students who have significant special needs?

10 Being flexible.. When a child has special and/or additional needs the Instructor is able to exercise flexibility. Part of the routine can be omitted if it is inappropriate for the child An adult can work with the child

11 Important Principles Each child is a unique individual what works with one may not work with another Always ask yourself what is possible Involve the student with peers as much as possible Be flexible - nurturing touch can take many forms Work with respect

12 Damien s Story

13 Damien was present for two sessions, wandering, handflapping, he would not engage During the third session he came and sat down He received most of the routine He was very relaxed!

14 By the fourth and fifth sessions Damien was receiving the whole routine from a teacher or Teaching Assistant During the sixth session Kadin, a gentle, quiet boy, was asked to work with Damien. Damien sat calmly and received the routine. He would not give. Kadin received from an adult

15 This was a milestone! After Damien received a massage an adult tried to engage him in giving. Around 8 weeks into the term he started doing bunny hops; on the TA s hand

16 Over a 6 month period Damien learnt to give most of the strokes during the routine Because he needed frequent prompting and modelling, he did most of his giving to an adult The next step would have been to increase his giving to another student This didn t happen as Damien moved to Queensland with his family

17 Massage and Autism Therapeutic massage with consistent, safe, nurturing touch, and regular sensory integration has become an accepted treatment for children with Autism. "Massage puts the system into a more relaxed state where the heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and the system is running at a slower pace," says Tiffany Field, PhD, Director of the Touch Research Institute, which has conducted several studies on autism and touch.

18 An 8 week study into the effects of traditional Thai massage with a group of 60 autistic children aged 3-10 years. Improvements were noted in the following areas: inattention-passivity sleeping behaviour conduct problems hyperactivity There was also a decline in anxiety and stereotypical behaviours in autistic children".

19 More Research 20 children with Autism aged 3-6 years received massage from their parents for 15 minutes every day prior to bedtime The study lasted for 1 month The children displayed less stereotypic behaviour and showed more on-task and social relatedness behaviour during play observations at school. They experienced fewer sleep problems at home.

20 Orlando s Story

21 From the very first session Orlando and Vinnie sat quietly in among the children as they learnt the massage routine. During the second session Orlando came and sat in front of me and I did some of the strokes on his back.

22 I made Orlando a Massage Book to help him to understand what we were doing. In the fourth session one of the children asked Orlando to come and sit down ready for massage.

23 Orlando receives the whole routine in each twice weekly session. The class have been doing massage for 5 weeks. The next step is to get Orlando to begin to give first to an adult, then to a peer.

24 March 2011

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