Updated: Apr 29, 2021
One of the most interesting practical approaches I've seen from the new school within the ASD unit, is Brain Calming. It is a soothing technique for children with sensory issues. The practise is around 15 minutes long and is typically included within the school or class timetable - at the minute, I can see from their website that the training is targeted exclusively at education professionals rather than parents, but after seeing the affect of the daily practice on our eldest son, I'd certainly strongly recommend that it's a question parents ask of their education providers. Considering he's only been attending for 2 months now.
From my understanding the children have a sensory stimulation (similar to a movement break) in a structured manner - it might be multi-directional movement, balancing, crawling like a sniper, touching or a combination. This is a physical stimulation.
The children then have a mental stimulation - it might be solving puzzles, matching shapes or physically building blocks.
Then children then have meditative stimulation - it might be a meditation to calm the mind, a massage, gym balls or similar.
My understanding is limited, but it sort of activates then resets the brain network and calms the children into being able to focus better. It's typically done at the start of the school day to allow the children to maximise their learning experience in the classroom.
Obviously each child is different, our own son is 'high functioning' but it's had a dramatic affect on his beheaviour. Some of the children within the ASD unit are at different levels of the spectrum and from speaking to our son, they all enjoy their sessions. The teaching staff speak very positively of the effects they see on all the children.
Teachers and SNA's are supposed to have continuous training through their years, I can't suggest strongly enough, that this is a course that is explored thoroughly as a CPD option for them and the schools. It has the potential to make a massive difference on children's experiences within their schools as well as within their home life. Parents, if your child has access or is with an SNA in school, encourage them to investigate. parents, if your child has sensory difficulties but no access to SNA, encourage your child's school or teacher to investigate.
I've contacted Brenda, who runs a Brain Calm training service for more details on the services she provides to education professionals and the theory behind it. I've invited her to write a post for inclusion here - as a family we have found it has made such a difference, I'd love to see other families experience the same, or at least have the opportunity to experience the same level of care from their education providers around the country.