Christine Waters, MISP Instructor
Here in Dongara we are doing the Massage In Schools Program for the 5th consecutive year. The kids are so excited when we start this program. Our Year 3 class have been doing this since kindy and they work beautifully together. The new teachers to our school are once again really impressed with the kids, the way they are so eager to participate in this program and how they readily include the new kids in the class and work with them doing the moves. For me the most rewarding time is watching boys at such a young age, asking their peers “are you okay with that?”, “that’s not too hard?”. Some of these kids have never used this sort of language and respect towards anyone before.
From the Principal
Click here to download a letter from the Principal, Janine Calver.
From an Education Assistant
I am a special needs assistant employed by Dongara DHS. We were very lucky recently to have been involved in the Massage in Schools Program.
I was amazed and delighted to find that my charge, a pre-primary student with austism, was more than happy to join the group massage sessions. Although he was not particularly interested in doing a massage he was more than happy to sit and receive a massage. I found that in these sessions he was very calm and quiet and that the calmness seemed to last for a while after the session was finished. I have also used the massage on him as a calming measure if he has become upset. I have found that once he has had a massage that he is more receptive to suggestions about changing his behaviour.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone who work with any person with autism or behavioural problems.
EJ Reynolds, Education Assistant, Dongara DHS
From some parents
I think the massage in school programme is great. The children are learning something new and I think it gives them a bit of confidence. I also love it when they come home and want to show me what they have learnt and want to practise on me. I also think it benefits the children as in they have to massage anyone in the class.
Donna Stemm 25 July 2009
Children at Dongara District High School
As a parent I have seen the positive changes to children who have participated in this program including my own daughter who is in year 7 this year, also other children in her class especially the children who have social and/or concentration problems, and the most important thing is that the children look forward to this program. My own personal opinion is that it is a fantastic idea as we have lost the ability to show our emotions and touch people and this helps. My 12 & 14 year old daughters still hug me every day. Not many kids do this at that age!
Ms Anne Lennehan
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
A workshop for children in vacation care at the Waikiki Family Centre was conducted by Natalie Garmson, MISP Instructor, through her business Idibidi Kids.
What did you like best about the program?
The ease of it for the children to continue on with it. We were very happy with the customer service Idibidi Kids provided.
Would you consider including the MISP as an incursion again at your centre/school in the future?
Definitely as the children really enjoyed it.
Would you recommend the program to other centres?
Yes, I would and have recommended it.