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

Relax Kids Sessions With Additional Needs

Read about Karen’s experience running classes for children with additional needs

Karen Ault is our Relax Kids coach in Castle Donnington, Leicestershire. She has been running Relax Kids classes with children and young adults with additional needs. Here is her experience.

‘Having had previous experience working with children who have additional needs, I really wanted to try the seven-step Relax Kids programme, knowing they really could benefit as all children and adults do. It didn’t really need that much adaptation and all parents/carers are expected to stay to minimise risks to the children.

‘After a quick introduction, we went straight into movement. Most of the children have got quite severe cerebral palsy and are wheelchair bound so I did a simple mirror movement asking the adults to sit opposite, moving the child’s arms as they made bee noises and flying movement. The able-bodied and other children in the group enjoyed doing this to their parents/carers and one little boy who has autism simply did not take his eyes off his daddy and mirrored movements back. I asked the adults to blow raspberries on their child’s arms or neck which made them move or giggle. We played parachute games after and this created lots of giggles. We also played ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ using an able-bodied child to do the running and chasing while the adults pushed the wheelchairs. I wanted the children to experience the thrill of being chased.’

‘Relaxation, of course, was their favourite part. I used blankets and put the wheelchairs in rest mode so they were lying down, we also used lots of sensory objects such as feather dusters, handheld massagers, brushes and pebbles to gently brush on a child’s arm or stroke their face.’

‘It was a huge success.’

With thanks to Karen’s amazing work, all children are able to experience the magic Relax Kids has to offer.