Happy to say the 4 classes I did at the Noosa Steiner School went well. Was great to see as each week went by and the children got more into it. A parent I spoke to said it was lovely what it has brought into their home as far as connecting the family. One card made me thank you cards; they were lovely. The children’s ages were from 6-9 years. It was so much fun to teach; the teachers embraced the program.
Jessica South, MISP Instructor, Yandina, QLD
Making MISP Accessible for All Students Using Visual Communication Cards
Making MISP an inclusive program for students with special needs, especially students with limited expressive and/or receptive language skills is easy using visual communication cards. The cares are about the size of a credit card and are double sided. Students with impaired speech or language difficulties can use these communication cards when:
- asking permission to give another student a massage
- accepting or declining a massage when asked by another student
- communicating their likes or dislkes about particular massage strokes.
Staff at Kalamunda Primary Education Support Centre have said that MISP:
- helps teach students about personal space
- develops an understanding about manners
- provides a good opportunity for students to follow step by step instructions
- has a calming effect on students especially when done after lunch or after a sports session
- teaches the students the difference between soft and firm touch
- encourages students to allow appropriate touch from others
- provides an excellent springboard for protective behaviour lessons
- supports visual and kinaesthetic learners
- improves students’ gross motor skills
- develops trust between students and helps develop friendships / buddies between different classes.
The Parents and Citizens group from Donnybrook District High School in the south west of Western Australia recently held their annual Family Fun Day. The aim of the day was to raise money for the school as well as showcasing some of the great opportunities that are provided for our students and what better example than the Massage in Schools programme which has been running in our school now for nearly 6 months.
The school oval was littered with stalls run by the school, local community groups as well as the Freestyle Now BMX bike riders. My year 6/7 class decided to show off their massage skills by setting up a ‘Massage tent’ where we offered a massage to those in need in return for a gold coin donation.
We were surprised at the number of adults who were interested in receiving a massage and with kids massaging kids, and adults massaging adults, it turned out to be an unexpectedly busy one for me. One kind lady even asked me where my business was as she wanted to make a booking although I don’t think I’ll give up my day job though as it really is quite tiring. The students enjoyed the opportunity to massage their family and friends who were amazed at the different techniques that they had learned and patience that they showed.
One mother suggested to her very nervous daughter that a massage might be just what she needed to calm her down before her dance routine and it wasn’t long before she returned commenting on how relaxed she had been and that she had even managed a smile during the performance. The powers of massage!
There were many positive comments throughout the day and it was great to hear some of the younger students who are also practising it in their classes proudly telling their parents “we do that to and its great” as they walked by the tent. A number of parents also commented on what a wonderful idea it is and how they regularly enjoy a massage at home from their children. One lady has even offered to try and chase up proper massage chairs for us, which would be wonderful. We’ll wait and see on that one.
All in all we had a great day promoting our Massage in Schools Programme.
Teacher and MISP Instructor
Donnybrook District High School, Western Australia