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Self-regulation resources and training to support children’s mental health

Helping children with Special Educational Needs self-regulate

Children with autism, ADHD, and other Special Educational Needs often face challenges when it comes to managing their emotions and regulating their behaviour.

Relax Kids sessions can help.

A Relax Kids session includes movement, games, gentle stretching, self/peer massage, breathing, affirmations and visualisations. The system has been designed to take children into a state of easy and deep relaxation.

Relaxation techniques help calm the body and mind and help reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm, making it a valuable tool for children who struggle with attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sensory sensitivities.

One of the key benefits of Relax Kids is that they learn tools that can be used at home, in school, or out in the community. Children are building a set of tools to help them stay calm and focused in challenging situations.

Below are some examples of using Relax Kids with children with Special Educational Needs:

“You can actually see them begin wind down during the sessions. One of the boys with autism, aged seven, often got extremely anxious and stressed in the playground, and would come in angry and unable to calm himself down. I sat with him and did some breathing exercises. I could immediately see his mood change. I then wrote them on the wall for the rest of the boys to use. After a few months, he started using the exercises himself to self-regulate.” – Audrey Clemenson, Autism Support Coordinator for Perth and Kinross

“We ran a five day course using Relax Kids. On the first day, one boy was very wild and couldn’t sit still. By day two, he was less so. On day three, I saw a huge difference. He loved the sessions and his Mum was blown away. By day five, he was requesting particular tracks from relax Kids CDs. It gave the parents coping strategies and tools… it empowered them. Before, the parents felt unable to cope, but those few hours really gave them some effective tools. It also allows the children to develop the skills they need to relax and makes them more able to deal with challenges.” Clare Burnett, Community learning and development worker for schools, at our Lady’s High School, Motherwell (ASN school)

“Frustration with communication and difficulty with emotional literacy are two of the main difficulties for Deaf young people. The stories sign well, and would be helped by including visual prompts that the children could maybe hold while they were watching what was being signed – they can also be used as anchors, so that the children can hold their prop while the story was signed, and then have some time to sit or lie quietly with their eyes closed while they visualise the story for themselves. In general, making the sessions more visual and multi sensory would be beneficial, but you would also need to expect them to take longer and possibly not cover as much.” Sarah Hodgkins – Relax Kids Coach, Occupational Therapist and former Deaf Children’s Services worker

“One class teacher found that a child with Sensory Processing Disorder who rarely sat still and found it very hard to be in the class setting engaged well with sessions and fell asleep at the end. They commented that he was often too wired to relax. By making the class environment quieter, with less motion, less buzz and activity he had been able to calm down.” Leonie MacDonald Relax Kids coach

“I am currently using the Relax Kids audios with 2 children of secondary school age both whom have a diagnosis of ADHD.  They look forward to the meditation and relaxation and their confidence and self esteem has begun to rocket!” Teacher

“I gave 1:2 sessions to a little boy with has autism and severe hearing loss who uses hearing aids. One session was amazing. His mum and I were demonstrating positive words and affirmations. He eventually joined in and blew us away with some of the sentences he was creating. His mum and I both had tears in our eyes, it was really special!” Stacey Renphrey,  Relax Kids Coach

“I have had the most amazing session! A class had 4 children with special needs in, one in particular with special needs who started the class very noisily and a little disruptive, by the end of the class they had to wake him up! The teacher and teaching assistant were stunned to see all the children lying on the floor in silence!” – Lucy Eddy Relax Kids coach

“X who is sight impaired and on the autistic spectrum has been attending Relax Kids Club for the last couple of years and he still loves it. It’s the only after school club he wants to take part in. He has struggled to enjoy or access other clubs such as football or drama –  but Relax kids is accessible and fun – varied activities but consistent format and always in a calm, structured environment. It’s a nice sized group too.”   Zara Simmonds Relax Kids coach

Find a Relax Kids coach: https://relaxkids.com/find-a-coach/

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