Page 1

aso na to l G rea all o ree de ur tin rs gs


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Contents Information Exchange celebrates the journey that we all make along the 'journey of understanding' about the special babies, children, young people and adults who share our lives. It exists as a Forum and support for all who have, along with sensory needs, other complex ones. Information Exchange is compiled with help from many corners of the world - ideas written and spoken, ideas seen and experiences shared. It is fully independent and the Editorial Team work hard on a voluntary basis to bring out the magazine - three times a year. There are also unseen supporters of the magazine who help in many ways.

Information Exchange has a buzz that is fostered when readers get together through the magazine itself. The basic remit of the magazine is the exchange of information in an accessible and unbiased way. There is a delight in newly found discoveries, sensory trinkets, soothing aromas, new ideas, books, technology, issues to discuss and Rag Bag ideas to share. Information Exchange is for everyone - family members,

parents, carers, educators, therapists or anyone who needs to find out more or gain confidence from others by reading, challenging and discussing. In this inclusive way, everyone is learning and growing together through the medium of the magazine.

Contents Editors page SMILE Book & CD Reviews Ines School silk banners Transitional Corridors – Wedgwood School Lilli Nielsen writes.... Multi-sensory – update from Flo Rag Bag to Buy Rag Bag To Make Rag Bag Ideas and Sharing Good Practice Face Reflex Christmas ideas for special artists Sensory cartoon page from Richard Hirstwood Sally Silvermana and the Sharing Sheet Chillout Zone – Teenagers A Chrristmas multi-sensory story Happy Birthday Changing Places! Electronic Exchange

3 4 6 10 11 13 16 17 19 20 22 23 25 26 27 28 30 31

Thank you to Bethany’s family for giving permission for her wonderful picture to go on the front cover this issue – and thank you to Sandra Matanlé in Plymouth for sending it in for everyone to see.

Copyright Spotlight on Innes School, Rochdale July 2007

We have requests to reprint articles that have appeared in Information Exchange from time to time. Please note that such requests are passed on to the original authors for their decision on publication. Price - £6.00 per individual copy Advertising Rates Back Cover Full Page Half Page Quarter Page

£350.00 £250.00 £150.00 £75.00

Disclaimer The views expressed in Information Exchange are those of individual authors and so do not necessarily represent the views of the Editorial Team. Also, neither the individual contributors nor the team can be held responsible for any consequences resulting from the purchase or use of equipment, toys, techniques or ideas featured or advertised in the magazine.


This summer there were great changes in the Rochdale area- in the special school system. Some special schools were demolished in the school holidays and pupils commenced at three newly built special schools last September. One of the schools that has disappeared is Innes school, a school of great renown and good practice, very ably led by head teacher, Mrs. Ann Wilson. Whilst it was a sad and unsettling time for staff, governors, families, pupils and everyone who worked or was associated with the school, there was also a strong celebration of the wonderful events and achievements that have happened there over the years. There were lots of special events planned and memories taken away in the form of photographs and memory boxes of happy times. Best wishes to everyone associated with Innes School and good luck and good fortune in the future.

Issue 73 Winter 2007

Editorial Editorial

The Information Exchange Editorial Team Flo Longhorn:

Dear Readers, Here is issue 73, packed with seasonal activities and lots of interesting articles and sources of useful information. Some of the articles are from readers and it is great to offer them all a big ‘thank you’ for their efforts. The big news for next year is a date to go in YOUR diary. On the 14 June 2008 there will be a fun-filled ‘Multisensory Information Exchange Day’ in Bristol, when readers, adults ,children and teenagers can come along and enjoy a variety of events, including Ragbag workshops, Master Classes and fun activities. The day is in aid of the children who live at the Woodside Sanctuary in Johannesburg South Africareaders will have seen photos of Woodside residents, in past magazines. Do put the date in your diary and look forward with me, to an epic day! Full details will be in the Spring edition. Any volunteers willing to participate on the day, just contact me. Sally Silverman will be a key person for this adventure, thanks Sally!

Managing Editor, Consultant in Special Education Catherine de Haas: Parent and Speech and Language Therapist Sara Cliff: Subscriptions Secretary Kay Evans: Teacher and regular reader of IE Sue Granger: A volunteer who lives in France Sally Slater: Consultant in Special Education Karen Buckley: Advisory teacher, SSSE, Derbyshire Additional advice and support from Sally Silverman our roving reporter Kate Sullivan, Bronwen Campbell and Naomi Rosenberg: Support teachers for the Sensory Impaired Service in Bristol Evelyn Varma who lives in Somerset: Editing and Word Processing And you – the reader, send your ideas and articles to the Editor! Subscriptions All enquiries to: Sara Cliff, Subscriptions, Information Exchange, 1A Potters Cross, Wootton, Bedfordshire MK43 9JG Tel and Fax: 01234 764108 Email:

Editorial and Administration Address Flo Longhorn: Managing Editor

Very best seasonal greetings to all readers of Information Exchange,

1A Potters Cross, Wootton, Bedfordshire MK43 9JG

Flo Longhorn Editor

24 Fazantenlaan, Bredene-Am-Zee, B8450 Belgium


Tel/Fax: 0845 127 5281 Email:

Feedback from a reader ‘Your magazine is well worth the money and it particularly gives me inspiration to start another year’ Yours sincerely Jenny Terry

Message from Sara Cliff the subscription secretary I can now be contacted by mobile phone. Telephone ????????????????

oops! Two errors crept into the ragbag to buy page in the last issue 72 The website for Mike Ayres equipment is the magazine enclosed with this issue! Wood and Toys (we showed some of their toys in the last edition) have disappeared from view, if we receive any information we will let readers know.

Website and look for

”Information Exchange page” Go to

Issue 73 Winter 2007


SMILE (Sensory, Musical, Interactive Learning Experience) orange, mint, lemon, lavender and vanilla. Each aroma has a different quality and allows us to experiment in different ways with taste, texture and smell i.e. dried mint or fresh mint provides an aromatic smell and is tactile. Mint invigorates the mind and improves concentration.

This article is the sequel to the article in the last edition – Issue 72 Sent in by Celia Chase

What we do and why we do it SMILE

• Scented shaving foam – again, this is textural and aromatic. • Textured objects etc, all sorts found around the house. A feather duster is tactile and interactive. It is colourful, to encourage eye contact.

Good Morning The session begins with ‘good morning’ sung to each person in turn, encouraging eye contact, signing and vocalising, the start of each round being ‘thumbs up’ – the Makaton sign for ‘good’ of ‘good morning’. The rhythm of the song can be tapped on the Service Users body leading on to encouraging them to use their thumb. We have had some excellent responses, one lady who initially did not appear to enjoy being in a group, now puts her thumb up every time! She then follows this with the song sung in her own way to the rhythm and intonation of the words and music. In most sessions, Service Users have progressed to moving around the table and greeting each person in turn.

Sensory Boxes These are not always used in all sessions. The boxes consist of using sensory objects based on the aroma of the day, to interact; • A bowl of scented bubbles and straws to encourage breath control. • Boxes containing cotton wool and aromatherapy oil – one square, one round – encourages manual dexterity.

• Tube – this is used to increase manual dexterity, used for interaction, passed from one person to another. This has been successfully used to encourage interaction between service users. The list is endless and we are always adding to our store.

Music and Singing The next part of the session we use music and singing. A parachute is used in most groups in conjunction with rhythm and singing. It is bright and visual and our games help with manual dexterity, self esteem and a feeling of ‘I am good to be with’. It has been a huge achievement for some people to reach out and touch and then move on to holding the fabric. One man feeds the fabric through his hands involving the whole group. He is then very much in control! A couple of the groups use a velvet covered elastic ring which creates a feeling of space. Turn taking songs are used, signing and vocalising is encouraged.


• Massage creams – Massage cream is tactile and encourages interaction. It can be relaxing and reduce stress.

We use a soundabout technique we learnt at a Soundabout training day ( held at Redlands.

• Bubble Machines – Blowing bubbles either by mouth or by pressing a switch to operate a machine teaches cause and effect/cognitive skills. It assists in focus and tracking.

Soundabout uses interactive techniques to enable people with disabilities who might otherwise be excluded from music making, as well as their carers, to enjoy communicating through patterns of sound and silence, thus motivating them to develop other core learning, listening and communication skills. Listening and attending to sounds being created is a valuable

• Fruit of the day, squeezed and tasted, felt and smelt. Each day a different aroma is used –


Issue 73 Winter 2007

SMILE (Sensory, Musical, Interactive Learning Experience) experience which can motivate a person to respond. This is an essential part of learning and communicating. Recognising the fact that someone may or may not want to do anything other than listen allows the opportunity for choice. In our groups, each carer has a percussion instrument and the rhythm is led by the carers. Service Users can choose to join in if and when they want, or not at all. They experience being part of the group and no pressure is put on them. People often spontaneously join in, shaking bells or beating a drum. Again, this has been hugely successful. The constant slow rhythm which we maintain for up to ten minutes creates a calming effect, slowing down the heart beat. That’s the theory anyway! When we finish we are silent for a while.

Bag Books The final part of the morning is a story. We use books from a company called Bag Books. These are age appropriate, multi-sensory fiction with tactile boards. Tactile stories encourage people with profound and multiple learning disabilities to be motivated to react, alter facial expression, put out a hand to touch, explore and grasp. It does not matter what we say in response to any reaction, what is important is that we have ‘answered’ their response and they will be encouraged to respond again. This again encourages turn taking, sharing, waiting and anticipation and they are hugely popular. We alternate the stories to allow choice. On one or two occasions, we have had a story line repeated or intoned and one woman will say, “what have we got” followed by the next line! We have extended this to supporting Service Users to create their own stories/life events, starting with bringing an object in to share. Goodbye

Tea and Coffee Now it’s time for tea – various flavours, coffee or juice and the chance to try new textures and tastes around the days theme.

Our session closed with a goodbye song. Celia Chase Project Leader

– Thanks Celia

What is the PMLD Network? The PMLD Network is a group of organisations — including charities, professionals and parents — who are working together to make things better for children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families and carers. What does the PMLD Network do? The PMLD network: • Brings together people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, their parents and professionals • Acts as a forum for sharing good practice • Gives guidance for the development of local and national services • Offers support and information to parents and carers • Campaigns on issues relating to PMLD that are identified by members of the network. How can I get involved? If you are interested in joining the PMLD Network and working with us to support children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities, visit our website at You can also contact Mencap's national officer for profound and multiple learning disabilities, Beverley Dawkins, at the address below. Mencap 123 Golden Lane London EC1Y 0RT Email:

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Book & CD Reviews Building Community through Circles of Friends: a practical guide to making inclusion a reality for people with learning disabilities This book is a useful resource for family members, friends and staff. The topics covered include: • • • • •

Friendship Connecting with community Person-centred planning Circles of support Facilitation

Yoga Games for Children 68 yoga exercises and games to encourage imagination, social interaction and self-expression in children By Danielle Bersma & Marjoke Visscher This simple and easy-to-use book includes games and exercises bases on relaxation, breathing, meditation, trust and co-operation, along with yoga postures and movements. All the exercises and games are variations on traditional yoga exercises that have been adjusted for children and will help encourage and develop: Physical strength Flexibility Awareness Motor Skills Confidence

To order a copy (£15 plus p+p) tel: 020 7803 1100 or fax 020 7803 1111 or email

• • • • •

Warm Up! CD

Cost £15.50 Details from: Tel: 01908 523411 or email:

Get children moving with this collection of cheerful action songs and rhymes. Sung by a group of young children and two adult presenters, the jolly lyrics will really motivate kids to move. • 15 action songs • 11 action rhymes Includes clear instructions and notes

£14.25 Details from: Tel: 01908 523411 or email:

Nature’s Playground – Activities, Crafts and Games to encourage children to Get Outdoors by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield (Frances Lincoln, £16.99) is brimful of adventures, games, crafts and inspirational photographs, all designed to get children outdoors and to take advantage of whatever nature has to offer throughout the year.


“SPECIAL” Charlie Landsborough Lyrics: Lyrics delivered by There never was anyone quite like me I’m the only me that you’ll ever see From the top of my head to the tip of my toe Oh, oh, oh I’m so special you know There never was anyone like me or you Being ourselves is the best we can do We’re priceless and precious for God tells me so Oh, oh, oh we’re special you know CHORUS: We’re quite unique, a walking work of art And strong or weak we all have our own special place in God’s heart We’re different each one from the other it’s true God never repeats himself, never makes two Be happy with who you are, God made you so Oh, oh, oh you’re special you know REPEAT CHORUS: We’re different each one from the other it’s true God never repeats himself, never makes two Be happy with who you are, God made you so Oh, oh, oh you’re special you know

Issue 73 Winter 2007

Book & CD Reviews New resource pack to help disabled children speak out for themselves

I want to choose too A resource pack for teachers and others for including primary school age children with little or no speech in decision-making. By Debby Watson, Anthony Feiler and Beth Tarleton, University of Bristol in association with Bristol City Council and the SW Regional Partnership Children with little or no speech in their education could soon be communicating their views thanks to the launch of a new resource pack for teachers. The Participation in Education (PIE) research project has been exploring approaches for including disabled children, aged 7-11, with little or no verbal communication in decision-making at school. This is groundbreaking work as it is often very challenging to help such children communicate their views. Researchers from Bristol University’s Norah Fry Research Centre and the Graduate School of Education conducted a national survey of practices in special and mainstream provision and relationships were established with 11 disabled children with little or no verbal communication attending two special schools in Bristol and Cheltenham. Time was spent with these children, and interviews were held with their parents, teachers, head teachers, speech and language therapists and teaching assistants as well as other professionals. The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has funded the project. Key findings from the research project include: • There needs to be better sharing of good practice, both within and between schools. • Children can be included in all aspects of decisionmaking at some level, given the right support and the motivation. • An increase in whole school and whole local authority approaches to communication is needed to ensure continuity. • Children with little or no speech are increasingly successfully involved with their reviews, school councils and target setting.

• More training and support with communication is needed, for professionals, families, and for teaching assistants in particular as they play a vital role. • The funding and insurance of communication aids is an issue that needs to be addressed. The pack contains ‘messages’ from children and other participants, and examples of good practice and materials that can enhance children’s participation. Debby Watson, Research Fellow at the Norah Fry Research Centre, who has played a key role in developing the pack, said: “Our inspiration has been the desire that young people have to communicate, however difficult that is for them, and the joy they find in being heard.” For further information on the PIE project and the research pack contact Debby Watson at the Norah Fry Research Centre on email or tel (0117) 331 0988.

Practical Sensory Programmes for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Special Needs Sue Larkey paper back £17.99 Publisher – Jessica Kingsley Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) often have sensory processing difficulties. They may be very sensitive to particular sounds or materials, or unresponsive to injuries most children would find painful. This practical book offers a six-step approach to developing a successful programme to help children cope with sensory input they find overwhelming, and to identify activities they may find relaxing or rewarding. Sue Larkey draws on her experience of working with children with autism to offer more than 30 activities using touch, sound, taste, vision and movement, and gives advice on how to use these activities as opportunities to improve children's communication skills. She provides detailed photocopiablechecklists to assess children's sensory reactions, sleep patterns, sense of movement and use of eye contact. Parents, occupational therapists and educational professionals will find this workbook to be a rich source of fun ideas for improving sensory processing in autism, and easily adaptable for children with other special needs.

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Book & CD Reviews The CD features adult and young people's voices and a variety of instrumental accompaniments.

Nice Warm Socks Devon-based folk and community arts development charity, Wren Music, set up ‘Nice Warm Socks’ to develop the basic communication skills of children with severe learning difficulties and physical impairments. A creative team including a music education specialist, speech & language therapist, a professional musician/composer/songwriter and a special school developed the project. The team created a CD of seventeen age-appropriate songs, which are linked to the UK National Curriculum. The CD supports educators, enabling them to teach in a way that really benefits special children. The CD has corresponding web tools, which mean that it is a resource that can be used by educators with very little experience of teaching music. The profits from the CD go towards the web-based material, so the project sustains itself. Some of the children involved were so inspired that they are now working on other similar projects.


The songs are pitched and paced to make joining in easy, and to use AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). There are plenty of places to add or change lyrics, and many of the tracks have an instrumental section at the end for a sing along. The songs are suitable for mixed-ability singing groups KS1 - KS3, and also for KS1 and early years language development work. ’Nice Warm Socks’ – only £11.50 this includes P&P Europe - €20 this includes P&P send cheque made out to ‘wren’ to: Wren Music 1 St James Street Okehampton Devon EX20 1DW

Issue 73 Winter 2007

Book & CD Reviews Nice Warm Socks

Nice Warm Socks

Stop Press from Shan Graebe! Warm Socks reached the final in the recent Lottery Awards; they did not win the top award, but are still very pleased to have reached the finals!

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Innes School silk banners

These pictures were taken of the beautiful silk banners made by the special pupils at Innes School. They hung inside the school and looked stunning with the beautiful colours, shimmers and textures. The silks have now been taken to a local church and hung there, an apt remembrance of a very special school and the pupils who made the banners. The tie dyed silk is decorated with lots of sensory decorations e.g. feathers, buttons, bobbles, shiny leaves and hung on dowelling.


Issue 73 Winter 2007

‘Transitional Corridors’ amazing journey from being down beat and failing into being energetic, exciting and a fantastic learning environment for children with complex learning needs. The Community Nursery also benefits from this transition. After a training day with Flo Longhorn spirits had been lifted and there seemed to be a light at the end of what appeared to be a very long tunnel. Her sensory input triggered staff into developing further their sensory environment for the children to learn in.

Message from the editor – I recently re-visited Wedgwood school and was struck by the amazing stimulating corridors, so different from when I first visited when the school was in special measures. I asked Ruth, the deputy head to organise an article – here it is – thanks Ruth!

Hello from Wedgwood school

The whole school pulled together to create the kind of environment which met the needs of every child in the school. We re-developed the tired old sensory rooms into interactive working spaces where the teachers can work with the children outside the classroom. We built in a sound beam where children can create their own music and dance and we also did a massive overhaul of the sensory garden and are hoping to soon install CCTV where we can study the local wildlife from the comfort of our classrooms. Wedgwood is a brilliant teaching and learning environment. We decided to bring teaching and learning out into our newly named transition teaching areas (aka corridors) so that the moment the children enter the school they begin to learn and will recognise the environment they will spend a large part of their day in. Sandra Bell along with Jayne Turner have turned the tired corridors into fantastic learning spaces. They created a sandy beach theme with sound effects and ‘story boxes’ that the children explore more closely, with sand and seashells placed in the boxes to feel and a Big Mac to press and hear the seagulls!

Wedgwood School is a primary special school built in the early 1980’s on the Holmewood estate in Bradford. The school is an unusual shaped building with a circular indoor walkway enabling access to the various classes, rooms and sensory rooms. In recent times the school has gone through some difficult times, the first being placed into special measures in 2004. This of course led to a massive confidence blow for teachers and support staff alike, with nobody willing to try anything different in case of criticism. Action was needed, and fast. A specialist head was sent in to help put things right and the school began its

They have also created a swamp and jungle area where animal noises and fur are available to use and wild animal puppets can be used to act out stories.

Issue 73 Winter 2007


‘Transitional Corridors’

Sandra and Jayne have also used other themes including “What lives under the ground?” “Who lives in caves?” etc. These areas are changed termly in line with the curriculum.

Coloured cellophane was placed over the windows and lights to add some special lighting effects and music is played to set the mood of each area helping the children with visual impairment to recognise where they are in different areas of the school.

The noticeable change was having its effect on children and staff alike. They all seemed happier and the school was more welcoming. Following regular visits from HMI the school was taken out of special measures in December 2005 – record time! We now have a new Head teacher, Liz Flavell, who is as dedicated as the staff in maintaining the high standard of teaching and learning and leads in the thinking that the only way now is up! The massive transformation which occurred at our school has boosted morale, built the confidence of all staff but more importantly it has provided our children with the education they deserve to achieve and it will continue to do so, we hope, for a long time. Written by Sandra Bell.

Thank you Sandra, Ruth and Wedgwood school for sharing!


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Lilli Nielsen writes..... The Blind Child’s Ability to Listen Lilli Neilsen shares with us the paper that she gave at the International Workshop held in Sresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The ability to listen is crucial for the blind child. To a great extent, it is through the ability to listen that the blind child learns to recognize his parents, to distinguish between them and other persons, to recognize what is going on around him, and to talk and to move independently. The ability to listen also enables the blind individual to enjoy music and other pleasurable auditory experiences. Without opportunity to integrate auditory experiences with other sensory experiences, the ability to listen can be ill-fated, that is, the child becomes more interested in experiencing the duration and the quality of emerging sounds than in discovering and learning about the sources of sounds. In the beginning, the blind infant is ignorant of the fact that every sound has a source. Without learning this, the infant can become so stereotyped in listening that he cries or screams whenever a sound ceases. On such occasions, he is often calmed by being held in an adult’s arms where he is entertained by the adult singing, talking or shaking rattles. Or maybe the adult switches on the radio, a music box or the washing machine. In this way, an unsatisfactory sequence can be established. It is often seen that whenever a sound emerges, the blind infant ceases all movements in order to be able to listen carefully. Since sounds are emerging every second and minute, the infant will spend time motionless and listening, rather than engaging in other activities. The result can easily be that he becomes so passive that the passivity itself becomes stereotyped.

What the infant needs is an environment that facilitates learning that sounds have a source, and that he can be the producer of object-based sounds. An environment that is especially good for facilitating this learning is the equipment called the ‘Little Room’. During the beginning of the eighties, I researched spatial relations in twenty congenitally blind infants. Each infant was exposed to the Little Room. The result of the research was to establish that a blind infant as young as three to five months of age, is able to perceive himself as the producer of object-based sounds. By doing so, he learns the position of the objects available within reach and he establishes integration of sensory modalities. The research also demonstrated that this learning can take place within a few days, if only the infant has opportunity to be exposed to an environment that eliminates all sounds other than those produced by the infant, and if he gets the opportunity to be active without interference from anyone else. The learning takes place by the infant repeating each activity several times and by performing the repetition, with intervals of one or two seconds. It is by means of immediate repetition that the blind infant becomes able to store and later on to recognize experiences as they recur. Likewise, the infant must have opportunity to compare both his auditory and his tactile experiences, and to do so at the time of his own choice, without interference from anyone else. By comparing the auditory and tactile feedbacks that he experiences from his movements, the blind infant learns where to find a specific object. It is by comparing one object with another one that each of them is perceived as specific. This is the way in which the blind infant achieves what I would like to call early object concept. From experimenting, repeating and comparing, he learns to distinguish between the available objects. He becomes able to remember where a specific object is

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Lilli Nielsen writes..... placed and this enables him to include two, three or four objects in a certain sequence game. If this Little Room is equipped sufficiently, that is, with at least fifteen objects, the infant also has opportunity to choose objects for different sequence games and thus to compare such games. It is by experimenting with the different sounds he can make with one object and by tactilely searching for it that he learns about the shape, weight, temperature and surface of that particular object. Also, it is necessary for him to learn this by his own activity. The earlier in life this learning begins, the easier it becomes for him to perceive himself as an active person. The learning can hardly take place while the infant is in the arms of an adult. It will be very difficult for the adult to provide the infant with, say, a rattle repeatedly, and as quickly as the infant needs it, and while being held in the adult’s arms, it will be impossible for the infant to learn the position of several objects, not to mention comparing different auditory and tactile experiences at certain moments. Like all other infants, the blind infant needs to be held in an adult’s arms now and then, but he also needs to learn to be active without any help from others. If he is entertained too much or develops stereotyped listening, he may begin to perceive himself as the one who must be passive. This can result in stereotyped passivity. Auditory activities performed during sessions in the Little Room also facilitate the infant’s learning to babble and vocalize. The sounds he produces while pushing and grasping, letting go of the objects, will encourage him to experiment with vocalization. He will commence comparing the object-based sounds with the sounds he can make, using his voice. His ability to vocalize will be more differentiated and thus make it easier for him to repeat the words he hears and to be able to talk. Active and exciting experiences result in it becoming meaningful to talk. Since the blind child is unable to share visual experiences with others, he can only know what an adult is talking about if he has had a


sensory experience that he can relate to language. For the blind child, such sensory experiences are often of auditory quality. In the very young infant, they can, however, be of kinaesthetic quality. In Cannero, in Italy, I exposed a five-month-old girl to the Little Room. She became very active, and was especially interested in a nailbrush positioned near to her left hip, and a key ring with four keys that was positioned to the left side of her chin. She started to grasp and let go the nailbrush and then became interested in the tactile qualities of it. Then she became aware of the keys and began to grasp them, leading them to her mouth. She then began to explore them using her lips, gums and tongue. Although she was also manipulating other available objects it was obvious she preferred the nailbrush and the keys. When she had been playing for 45 minutes I removed the Little Room. Before taking her in my arms I talked to her about what she had been doing and she replied by making the movements she had displayed whilst being active with the brush and the keys. She was listening to my voice and she was showing that she had had an experience that she wanted to share with me. She was communicating. At this stage, she was of course unable to understand the words but by talking to the infant about what she has just been doing; she will gradually begin to relate the words she is hearing to her own actions. However, it is important to refrain from talking while the infant is experimenting; otherwise the infant would be interrupted. It is better to talk just after the infant has finished her activity – and to talk about what she had been doing instead of only talking about what is going to happen with the infant. After a few more sessions in the Little Room, this baby would probably learn that she was the producer of object-based sounds, and thereby gains even more experiences to share with an adult. Similarly, she would gradually learn that a sound that is different from the sound of language probably means that there is an object that maybe can be reached for. Having had several experiences of producing objectbased sounds with many different objects, she will achieve the basic knowledge that a sound has a source, and then be able to reach for an object on the cue of sound only.

Issue 73 Winter 2007

Lilli Nielsen writes..... She will begin to experiment with making different sounds and she will compare the auditory results she experiences from handling one particular object in different ways, and also from handling several other objects in the same way. Soon she will begin to use objects for playing banging games and so experience the relationships between the quality of sounds and the quality of the materials that the objects are made from, as well as the quality of the muscle strength she is using while playing the different banging games. A few months ago, I was asked to play with a fouryear-old blind girl who had developed slowly. She was able to walk while her hand was held. She was unable to talk. She did not play with toys. Whenever I gave her an object, she let it go immediately without paying much attention to the auditory result gained from letting go on the object. I wondered whether she had ever had the opportunity to repeatedly grasp and let go of the same object. In front of her, I placed a tray with ten table tennis balls. She grasped one of the balls, only to let go of it immediately. Then she grasped one more ball, letting go of that one too. When she had repeated this activity six or seven times, I placed a

small plate among the balls. When she happened to grasp the plate, she did not let it go immediately. Instead she moved it from hand to hand a few times before letting it go. I replaced the plate among the balls. During the next few minutes, she either grasped a ball or the plate. She let go the balls immediately whilst the plate was handled for a longer and longer period of time before she let go of it. After fifteen minutes, she began to play banging games with the plate, paying much attention to the different sounds she produced. Observation of blind infants’ ways of playing show that by experimenting, exploring, comparing and repeating, the infant learns about the relationship between sounds and objects, and this learning enables him to relocated the toy that he has thrown beyond his reach. Having had the opportunity to repeat, the toddler’s intention to pick up rather than only to throw toys is already present. As he experiments, the infant will perform more and more movements of hands and fingers, and so develop the fine motor skills necessary for later learning of daily living skills. Lilli Nielsen

Winter Songs-all sung to ’I’m a little teapot’ The special snowflake I’m a little snowflake, look at me No other snowflake looks like me I’m so unique, just look at me And just as special as can be’ The snowflake Song I'm a little snowflake, fat and round Falling slowly to the ground When enough of me fall, hear me shout "Here's a snowball, just watch out!"

The Snowman Song I'm a little snowman short and fat. Here's my scarf and here's my hat when the snow is falling come and play Build a snowman every day.

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Sensory page Pica eating and the senses Pica eating is when a child or adult eats anything without discrimination. They will eat objects that may be inedible and seek out things to eat, wherever they are. One way to help this to cease is through sensory integration. Sensory integration is a neurological process that occurs in all of us. Sensory information is taken from our bodies and the world around-the brain is programmed to organise or ‘integrate’ the sensory information to make it meaningful. This informs thinking and reasoning. With regard to pica, eating has really gone out of kilter. Developmentally, the mouth is the first area of the body that can interpret sensory feedback with some accuracy; the mouth discovers the world through sucking, tasting, smelling, texture, temperature etc. As the baby matures then the hands take over and interpret the environment around. Mouthing becomes less important-unless you are a pica eater! The mouth then continues to be an overwhelming door to sensory delights of every sort. I worked with Patti, a young woman who managed to eat two forks! The pica eater mouths, chews, tastes, swallows edible and inedible- anything that will fit in the mouth. This unusual eating may be because they crave strong tactile sensations, strong mouth movements and to also feel the vibratory sensations to the jaw, which is rather pleasing and stimulates the vibration-sensitive balance system. I worked with one adult in an institution, who chomped on rocks to gain this sensation-we offered the alternative of large gob stoppers, bubble gum and very hard rubber dog toys. A pica child I also interacted with, found that sherbet lemons were great as there was the hardness of the sweet and then the shock of the sherbet! So much for healthy eating! She also liked very strong vibration along the jaw provided by vibrating toothbrushes. In both cases, they were offered the alternatives to pica -eating anything- with a ‘pica’ box of their particular likes that lessened the unsuitable eating. This included foods with high textures too such as wooden liquorice sticks from the herbalist. So, the best person to help with pica is the occupational therapist or someone trained in this area of sensory integration, they can provide a ‘sensory diet’ for the person and monitor over time.

Good books to look at ’Building bridges: through sensory integration’ by Ellen Yack et al and ‘too loud too bright too fast too tight’ by Sharon Heller. For people who love to mouth and bite (sent in by Innes school last term)

Very strong rubber toys – available from Asda Supermarkets ‘Pets Section’. They cost from £2.00 - £2.99. They do not look like dog toys and can be helpful for pica eaters and those who like to mouth everything-all the time. Contact: Telephone 0500 100055

What is synaesthesia? Synaesthesia is a truly fascinating condition. In its simplest form it is best described as a “union of the senses” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together. Some synaesthetes experience colour when they hear sounds or read words. Others experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination. These sensations are automatic and cannot be turned on or off. Synaesthesia isn’t a disease or illness and is not at all harmful. In fact, the vast majority of synaesthetes couldn’t imagine life without it. Artists with synaesthesia include the painter David Hockney, the composer Olivier Messiaen, and the writer Vladimir Nabokov. There is an association called The UK Synaesthesia Association. This was originally founded by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge University. He is a leading researcher into the phenomenon. The Association brings scientists, researchers, students and synaesthetes together and provides verifiable and reliable information regarding the condition for the media and any other interested parties. The Association has a dedicated committee made up of researchers and synaesthetes who meet regularly, and produces an entertaining and informative quarterly newsletter for its members. There is also an annual international conference with eminent guest speakers including scientists, researchers and synaesthetes themselves. The website is at


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Rag Bag To Buy Hugs of warmth with these soothing, calming, soft and cuddly

‘hot friends’ which are scented with lavender and camomile to relax you at bedtime. Great for children or adults, you just need to heat the removable tummy up in the microwave – lovely on a chilly winter’s evening. Velcro fastening on tummy which contains a bag of scented beads. Hot Hugs £19.99 each For a catalogue call 0870 240 2407

Glow in the dark artwork Black light reflective felt pens with a black light illuminator built into the top. Switch off the lights; pull out the hinged clip at the top and your designs light up – in another amazing dimension. Choose from dolphin or rocket. Works on any paper. Glow & Go £4.99 each catalogue 0870 240 2407

Sparkling night-lights and bubbling lava lamps

Talking Peppa Pig Developing early IT skills – cause and effect. Press Peppa’s tummy to hear her say “Oink” and many other phrases, such as “I love jumping in muddy puddles!” Peppa also likes counting to 10 when she’s ready to play hide and seek! She’s so soft and cute you won’t want to stop cuddling her! 5 individual phrases in total. Approximate price: £8

Stacking Elephants These magnetic elephants are easy to stack or arrange in a row – then pull them along! Baby elephant’s ears light up and they play tunes and giggle! A good counting resource. Approximate price: £7 08705 352352

Exercise and Relax Your Eyes Close your eyes and put your head back gently as far as it will go without your neck hurting. Keep your eyes closed and ’look’

Plug them and you will have a fascinating, mini light display in your room. The sparkling night-lights are filled with glittering stars and the mini lava lamps bubble away in glorious technicolour just like the large originals. Assorted colours

• At your forehead

Night lights £4.99 each catalogue 0870 240 2407

• Smile!

• Now at your chin • To the left • And to the right… • Now slowly roll your eyes clockwise • And anti-clockwise • Cover your eyes with both hands and slowly open them

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Rag Bag To Buy – from Fledglings Busy Bumble Bee – Radio Controlled!

New from Fledglings Tel: 0845 458 1124 Fax: 0845 458 1125 Email:

This bright little bee on wheels with ‘dragonfly’ single button control is an ideal first switch toy for a young child. The bee is bright yellow with black stripes and transparent wings making it good for use by a child with limited vision. The chunky control has a single red button which, when pressed, rewards the child by illuminating a light and activating the bee. The bee is one directional but will change direction each time the red button is pressed – its tail will also spin. When there is no activity the bee will spin on the spot. The on/off switch is on the bee itself so parental supervision is required.

Tambourine Use this colourful instrument to encourage rhythm and movement. Price


2 ‘AAA’ batteries are required for the control and 3 ‘AA’ batteries for the bee – Not Included.

The Eye Spy Bag


is a feely bag with a difference. The square flat bag is made from a soft felt with a Perspex ‘window’.

Magnetic Stacking Bugs

Inside the bag are a number of items – everyday objects, coins, animal shapes, numbers or letters. Each bag contains a variety of these objects. By manipulating the bag with his or her hands, a child can be taken on a journey of exploration and discovery searching for and finding items on request. A small card is attached to each bag to give you ideas about how it can be used to encourage a child’s learning. Price



Some years ago Fledglings featured a set of Magnetic Stackers in their newsletter. It was an extremely popular toy which helped children with limited dexterity to build a tower. When it was withdrawn they had to disappoint many people but after searching for something similar they have now found magnetic bugs, 6 little creatures, just the right size for young hands to hold and which can be stacked to form a tower. The snail’s back is certainly the one which takes the strain best! Price


Cbeebies now have a special needs site on their popular Cbeebies website Look for the special needs section.


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Rag Bag To Make A Treasure Basket of Tactile Delights This silk and feather basket holds pieces of silk, coloured feathers, bright velvets and satins. The basket is interesting too. It is of woven metals with glittering “jewels” integrated into the basket.

– And a message from IE roving reporter, Sally Silverman.

A treasure basket encourages spontaneous exploration and use of the hands to explore and examine attractive materials. They are used for babies but anyone can use them too.

‘Hi, I have just done a workshop for the Childminders conference. It was here in Bristol. I thought you might like to see these pics. We had a ‘making time’ using dud cds.

Baby wipe tie-dye A simple way in which to introduce tie-dye, link it to a display of tie-dye materials and batik cloth. You will need: • Box of baby wipes • Rubber bands • Water colour felt tip pens Activity: • Take a baby wipe and either fold or roll the baby wipe into a small shape. • Tie the rubber bands very tightly around different sections of the baby wipe • Now choose coloured felt tips enable the painter to press them hard into the baby wipes. • The inks will run into the moist surfaces. Inky fingers too! • Change pens and put more colours on. • Adult carefully cut the rubber bands off. • Enable the artist to unroll the baby wipe and see the lovely coloured patterns they have created. • The wipes can be dried and put on display.

Under the sea This a lovely moving piece of art You will need: • Strong ziplok bags • Gel toothpaste

‘Here is one of the ladies on the childminders course, she is using foil and old cds and she has done very well’

Method: • Squirt the gel toothpaste into the bag • Zip it closed • Now squish it with fingers and hands to make waves in the sea Extend the activity by adding fishy pictures to the outside of the bag so it looks like they are swimming in the sea.

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Rag Bag Ideas and Sharing Good Practice from Kate Sullivan I love my job visiting different settings and picking up ideas from school staff and colleagues, these are a few I’ve picked up over the last year or so…

Cheryl’s Objects of Reference Cheralyn works in Briarwood Post 16, Bristol. The students are working on the Asdan Schemes of work. These objects of reference were make during the Independent Skills Module when the students are involved in making their breakfast, Cheralyn initially took photographs of the marmalade, jam and marmite jar and then she made extremely thin slices of toast topped with marmalade, jam and marmite. This is the tricky part putting them together and laminating them. You can still smell them.

Scourers and Symbols This idea was passed onto me by Karon Edwards, Curtis’ mum – for those children who find it difficult to pick up symbols attach them to a scourer. A Speech Therapist also suggested sticking symbols to the plastic tops of Pringles – this makes them slightly thicker and easier to grasp.

Science Experiments Creating Craters by Impact

Hartcliffe Children’s Centre The children at Hartcliffe Children’s Centre enjoy playing with these sections of guttering positioned so water, sand, pebbles, balls etc can move down the guttering from the top, down to the next section until it reaches the bottom or a container. The caretaker came up with the idea!!


Science can be great fun, Andrew Knight at Baytree School, Weston Super Mare investigated creating craters with his class (15 – 16 yrs). A large stone was dropped from a height into a container of flour, as you can see it creates a cloud of dust and when the stone is removed an indentation. Using a torch or spotlight to highlight the container helps to focus attention.

Issue 73 Winter 2007

Rag Bag Ideas and Sharing Good Practice Creating Crates by Subsidence This was more complicated a blown up balloon is attached to a fine tube remember to hold onto the end. The balloon is then buried in flour before slowly releasing the air from the balloon, watch as the flour collapses inwards.

Storage at Ikea

Ryan Piper is exploring after the experiments

Creating Explosions Andrew and his staff let alone the pupils enjoy their science experiments, they also showed me how they have created small explosions. Using a plastic pot with a fitted lid (microwave dinners are good) add vinegar and a steradent tablet seal the lid. Stand back and wait……… You may have to experiment with qualities and prepare to get in a mess.

Gemma, Briarwood Secondary School has come across this hanging storage idea available from Ikea. Gemma is using it to store her symbols, thin items, etc under £10

Kate Sullivan Sensory Support Service Bristol

Thanks so m u ch Kate – An dre w, I love the exp losion s! – The editor

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Face Reflex As promised, some more ideas for working on the face reflex, seen in the last magazine, issue 72

Simple activities to encourage facial recognition through literacy activities You will need sturdy umbrellas (IKEA do some excellent grey ones) make sure that they do not have a point at the end, or stick a small ball on the point with super glue-just in case! Keep on the look out for different sorts of umbrellas that already have images printed on the surface.. I found a rainbow one for coloured images and a black one covered with cat faces. You could also use a big umbrella used for outside in the sun, again IKEA do a lovely big white one which would enable 2 readers to work together. it is also a good idea to have a safe place to store the umbrellas, a tall waste bin minus its lid is a sturdy way to do this.

Umbrella books – faces Collect a range of faces, laminate and suspend inside the umbrella. The umbrella book can be opened and place over the reader wherever they are. They can be lying down, sitting in their wheelchair or at a table. The umbrella blots out other visual images and they can concentrate on the faces. The reader can look at ones close up or focus on one a distance away. Some of the faces will create interest as they move or twirl inside the umbrella

The umbrella book library

Mirror faces • Use a mirror and look at faces naming who they are. • Name the person ’look it is you! It is Jamie!’ • Use a magnifying mirror for larger than life images. • Touch and name the facial parts

‘I know you!’ Family umbrella books • Use photographs of the family or close friends to hang in side the umbrella • Have duplicates in an album to look at later • Put the photos into a PowerPoint and put through the interactive white board

‘My best friends’ umbrella storyFaces • Stick pictures of friends in the class or at home, on to cds • Attach to the spokes of the umbrella with ribbons so they can spin, twirl and shine • Look with the reader and find their most favourite person • Have a duplicate set so they can be used on a flat surface, covered with a cloth and then discoveredone, two, three-and the friends face read

Have a collection of umbrella with different topics such as • Male faces • Children’s faces • Faces by famous artists • Black and white drawings of faces • Pieces of faces, a nose umbrella, eyes, or lots of ears! • Animal faces • Cartoon faces • Famous faces from the telly or movie-go to a soap opera website an download some, East Enders, Corrie Street…


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Christmas ideas for special artists to help make Lots of new Christmas ideas for special artists to help make – from Kay Evans thank you!

Gift Tags

• Dip the big end in the paint and press it on to the card to make the snowman's body

• Do the same with the small end to make its head • When it's dry draw on the face, buttons, hat etc.

Wrapping Paper

You will need: • Coloured card • Potatoes cut in half • A star shaped cookie cutter (or other seasonal shapes) • Thick paint, glitter and string Directions: • Push the cutter into the cut side of the potato • Dip the cutter into the thick paint and print it onto the card • Before the paint dries sprinkle on lots of the glitter and shake off any extra • Allow it to dry and cut out the shape around the print • Stick a little piece of string or gift ties on to the back

More Gift Tags You will need: • Coloured card and a stiffer piece of card (An old telephone credit card is good) • Christmas coloured paints • Marker pens, string

You will need: • Potatoes cut into thick slices • Cookie cutters • Large sheets of paper • Thick handled forks • Newspaper and plates of different coloured paints Directions: • Use the cutter to cut out shapes of the thick slices of potato • Dab both sides of the potato shape on kitchen paper to dry it • Press a fork into the shape to make a handle (this will help to stop getting hands dirty) • Dip the shape in to the middle of a selection of paints close together on the Newspaper and press it on to the paper • Continue and make as many combinations and blends of colours as you can • Extra idea-You could do this with one colour alone all over a large sheet

Hand Printed Angels

Directions: • Dip the edge of the telephone card into the paint • Print a criss cross pattern (or your own design) on to the coloured card • When the paint is dry cut it into shapes using basic shape templates or more Christmassy shapes • Cut it out and draw patterns on the shape e.g. zigzag lines or stripes • Stick a piece of string on to the back for it to tie on to a present

Snowmen You will need: • Carrots • Dark coloured card • White paint and marker pens

All you need are different coloured paints such as gold blue, yellow, skin & hair tones and sheets of strong paper Directions: • Press a hand into the paint and make a hand print in the middle of the paper – this is the main body shape • Press both hands into a different coloured paint and print one each side of the first print - this will make its wings • Turn the paper around so the prints are upside down • Dip fingers in the skin colour and paint a head shape • Use fingertips to make 'arms' from the body and dab your tips on to the end to make hands • Finger paint some hair and do dots for its face and smiley mouth • Stars can be finger painted around the angel or use for a Xmas card

Directions: • Cut the ends of the carrots so that you have 1 big end and the small one.

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Christmas ideas for special artists to help make Fat Robin Fingerprints Christmas Treats

You will need: • Green, Brown, red and white paints • Paper or thin cards • Old telephone credit cards

(Check for food allergies)

Directions: • Paint a brown line to make the branch that the robins will be perched on • Dip the end of one finger in brown and make 3 or more prints just above the branch • Dip another finger into red and print it on top of the brown to make the robin's red breast. Let the colours overlap. • Dip another finger in to white and paint the bottom of the red breast • Using the edge of the credit card dipped in brown to print lines for its tail and legs • Using the edge of the credit card dipped in green, make the pine needles at the end of and next to the branch • When the paint is all dry fill in the details of its face and beak using a black marker I hope all these are ok and I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year (Even tho' it's only October when I compiled these! I'm sure it will soon be upon us) Best wishes Kay Evans


Ingredients: • 70g digestive biscuits • 110g icing or powdered sugar • 25g cocoa • 50g melted butter (melt in the microwave oven) • 1tsp ground cinnamon • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract and little paper cases (used for sweets) Now make the little sweets: • Put the biscuits into a plastic bag • Crush them until they look like fine crumbs • Sift the sugar and cocoa into a large bowl • Use a wooden spoon to stir in the butter & vanilla essence • Add the crumbs and use your hands to squeeze the mixture into a ball • Break smaller pieces off & roll to the same size as a walnut • Put them onto a plate and leave to cool until they are firm, put into little cases • Extra idea-For log shapes roll them out into the small cylinders, use a fork to make lines along them and sprinkle with sifted icing sugar Here are the ingredients to decorate them: • 4tbsps icing sugar and a few drops of water • Cherries, tiny red jelly sweets Now: • Mix a small amount of the water at a time, with the sugar until it is like thick glue • Using a teaspoon, dribble the icing sugar carefully over the top of each ball • Cut the cherries into little pieces- decorate the top of each piece before the icing sets

Issue 73 Winter 2007

Sensory cartoon page from Richard Hirstwood

Issue 73 Winter 2007



Sharing Sheet Remember, the best way to keep hold of information is to give it away ! Than k y ou to S all y Sil verm an an d con tr ibu tors in th e Bri sto l area for sh ar in g parts of th eir sh arin g shee t – Th an k you ! Kath and Margaret found this wonderful flashing water duck in Ranjanees for under a £1.00 there are 2 touch sensitive sensors under duck (some children might be able to operate). Goes slowly through blue/ red/ yellow light modes then flashes abit before stopping. I tried in the bath and works well! The flashing quite bright against white sides of bath. Try in bowl insert in child’s Standing Frame; maybe blue cellophane under the water? From Alandra Products, give them a Google – also seen in Hawkins Bazaar catalogue.

This excellent “Fly Eye Kaleidoscope” costs £1.50 and is available now at The Explore@ Bristol Shop in Millennium Sq. Wear it around your neck (with a white or black T shirt) to attract visual interest. Hang it up in the car or close to where a child is sitting. Great to shine a torch through it. Also great visual target under U/V light. From

Black and White hangers form part of the high contrast vision friendly environment for the youngest class at Claremont School in Bristol. Find these at IKEA stores. Great against the black background. Th an ks for thi s Zoe, Ju li e an d Jan e.


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Chillout Zone – Teenagers Sally Slater, on the editorial board took these photos of some very interesting teenager wall displays and lovely photo mobiles on one of her school visits. Have a look and see how cool they are!

A bulls eye pattern on a suspended foil plate makes a colourful mobile.

The photos of records are just made by using polystyrene raised circles and rollers of paint. Can you spot the Beatles?

The wall display here is a display board using ‘talking cans’. Press the yellow can lid and information is given verbally by the recorded voice.

Here are portraits laminated with collage materials and hung in a colourful display from the ceiling.

Issue 73 Winter 2007


A Christmas multisensory story – Christmas Feelings The idea for this interactive Christmas story was given to me by a friend of Johanna de Haas, who had been on a course with the organisation SENSE. It has been slightly adapted – thank you SENSE! – Flo Longhorn

Multisensory equipment Each song or piece of music links to a piece of multisensory equipment, which is used on the body, in time to the beat of music. You will need:

Setting the Scene Use a space that is calm and beautiful, perhaps near the Christmas tree or in the multisensory room. Put on twinkly fairy lights or the rotating silver ball for a Christmassy background. Try a Christmas oil or spray to set the smell scene.

Sounds and Music You will need some Christmas music to follow the story. Go to itunes on the web to collect them or choose a different selection for your own particular group. Herggested songs:

You will also need a large piece of Christmassy material to wrap the child or student in during parts of the story – try a beautiful glittery sari, shiny space blanket or red and green shawl.

Christmas feelings

• Snow-Loretta Mckennitt (from a winter garden) or ‘let it snow’ • Frosty the snowman • Jingle bells • Whilst shepherds watched their flocks • The little drummer boy • Jingle bell rock or ‘rocking around the Christmas tree’ • Mary’s boy child or ‘silent night’ • Auld lang syne

Another pic needed!


• Snow-confetti, glittery xmas sequins, cotton balls in a bowl to run hands through • Frosty the snowman-bath puffs-prepare beforehand by spraying with water and freezing in the freezer-brrr. • Jingle bells-bell sticks or bunch of Christmas bells • Whilst shepherds-silver and gold tinsels for the angels light • Little drummer boy-drum sticks/ chop sticks or a big drum stick-boom • Jingle bell rock-Christmassy smelling massage cream • Marys boy child/silent night-massage cream again • Auld Lang Syne-a smell of whiskey to enjoy and a lump of coal to feel!

Leave a minute or so between each song or piece of music so there is a set sequence and definite change between each activity. Use the material to wrap the child or student in during certain parts of the story’ when it feels appropriate, especially at he beginning and end of the story.

Snow/Let it snow – arms and hands free to feel snowy sequins, cotton balls sifted through hands and poured over arms.

Issue 73 Winter 2007

A Christmas multisensory story – Christmas Feelings

Frosty the snowman – pat with frosty white bath puffs

Jingle bell rock/Rocking around the Christmas tree – massage cream firmly and lively‘pinching‘ and patting over the skin

Jingle bells – roll sticks or bounce bells over arms, legs and tummies

Mary’s boy child/Silent night – a change from the lively massage to a more gentle and relaxing massage. End with a wrap in the material and rock side to side

Whilst shepherds watched their flocks – flick starry tinsels

Auld Lang Syne – a whiff of whiskey, a lump of coal to feel- then hold hands sing and sway to the sound of the New Year greeting

The little drummer boy – gentle tapping with drumsticks

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Happy Birthday Changing Places! Changing Places, Changing Lives was launched a year ago to campaign for Changing Places toilets – which include a hoist, changing bench and plenty of space – to be installed in all big public places in the UK. Changing Places toilets are needed by people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, their families and carers, and other people who need assistance to use the toilet. Without Changing Places toilets thousands of disabled people and their families have to return home after a few short hours, or are forced to carry out changing on dirty toilet floors. The Changing Places campaign is changing this. Since the campaign launched at the Tate Modern in July 2006: • the number of public Changing Places toilets on our UK map has increased from eight to 32 • 30 venues have committed to install a Changing Places toilet in the near future

• a factsheet on the legal issues associated with Changing Places toilets has been produced by the Changing Places consortium, together with experts in law and disability and moving and handling policies. The incredible support and hard work of campaigners up and down the country has greatly contributed to this success. Many campaign groups have formed and are making significant progress locally. In particular, local efforts in Bradford have led to the opening of seven Changing Places toilets with plans for more in the pipeline, and mums Julie and Alison have been successful in getting Changing Places toilets installed in their local shopping centres.

• plans to install Changing Places toilets in Asda supermarkets and other key venues are being developed

All this means real changes to the lives of families who had previously struggled to leave the house. As one family explains “We can now enjoy a day out just like anyone else”.

• eight venues with Changing Places toilets won a ‘Loo of the Year’ award, and Nottingham City Council also won a national Community Care Award

But there is still so much more to be done to achieve our goal of having a Changing Places toilet in all big public places across the UK. If you would like to get involved you can:

• significant progress has been made to secure a change to British Standard 8300 (which gives recommendations for the design of new buildings to meet the needs of disabled people) to include Changing Places toilets

• Visit • Get our local campaign pack • Tell us if you know of a Changing Places toilet or plans to install a Changing Places toilet so we can add it to our map: email Tel 020 7696 6019

• an Early Day motion in support of the campaign tabled by Philip Davies MP was signed by 112 MPs of all parties • over 1.5 million people have seen media coverage of the Changing Places campaign

• Join our web group to keep up-to-date with the campaign


Issue 73 Winter 2007

Electronic exchange SenseToys

This company was started by Lesley Burton, after fruitless searches to find toys and activities for her two sons who have special needs. The range of toys and games is fairly standard, the unusual bit is that SenseToys offers information and advice on which toys to choose, how to use them and why they work. Tel: 0845 257 0849

Halliwick Association of Swimming Therapy The Halliwick Concept is a holistic approach to swimming. Swimmers are taught in a one-toone situation within a group. The swimmer is able to discover their own balance position in the water therefore no flotation aids are used. The Instructor uses the Ten Point Programme. Points include Mental Adjustment, Disengagement, Control of Rotational Forces, Upthrust, Balance and Turbulent Gliding and Propulsion. Visit this site for more details about the programme.

Unlocking Learning If you need online teaching resources, the BBC’s Magic Key is packed with ideas, plus links to other BBC materials suitable for early years work. If you want to use an Intellikeys overlay with someone who has very little pressing power (but can make arm movements) you can put a little piece of bluetac (about the size of a pea) under the overlay where you want the press to happen. This will focus what little pressure there is onto one small spot and activate the software. Sent in by Daryl Cogavin c/o Brooklands School, Reigate, Surrey – Thanks!

Sounds Incredible Here are a range of websites where you can download all sorts of different sound effects and unusual sounds. They can be used for story backgrounds, to add a noise/effect for a drama, in the multisensory room (imaging the roar of lions as the room is illuminated with a hot sun on a projector).

A Message from Pete Wells Merry Christmas everyone! A colleague of mine has made a wonderful little Christmas application called ‘The Santarizer’ which allows your pupils to turn themselves into a jolly fat bloke who gives stuff away (no comments please!) I’m afraid it’s not switch adapted but I’m sure some of your children (and staff) will find it lots of fun! He’s kindly let me put it on my site so feel free to download it from the applications page of It’s a simple affair but here are some instructions anyway! Click ‘Open Picture’, find your pupil’s photo then use the mouse or cursor keys to drag the picture into position. Use the Christmas baubles to zoom in or out (you can use the + or – keys too) and to rotate the image. When you’ve finished then click ‘I’m Done’. It can then be simply pasted into any other application (e.g. Word, Paint, Photoshop, PowerPoint or Crazytalk) Ho! Ho! Hope you like it! Pete

Issue 73 Winter 2007


Information Exchange - Winter 2007  

Information Exchange magazine - Issue 73 - Winter 2007

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you