Day 1 First Assessment
Finding the right position
Your child does not want to lie down, or moves around? This ill not work with a running child, obiously. But if you find a quiet moment with your child, any position will do - and it is perfectly alright if the child is rolling around a bit, or wants to sit up at some time. You could also hold it in your arm and work with one hand, or let it sit on a partner`s lap and work there. Just make sure both of you are in a very comfortable position. (this goes for the rest of this week as well). This could be a comfortable position for your child - whether it is supported by your legs, or a pillow.
- This works better on naked skin.
- Using and connecting many different pieces of information (sound, vision, emotion) will be helpful...
- ... as much as reducing unnecessary information (discomfort, effort, fear).
- A nice atmosphere and your feeling and sitting comfortable will support the child.
- Adapt the environment to your child. Take your time with it - this is one of the most important steps.
- Be sure to be in a comfortable position yourself.
Letting the child feel it`s whole body as an entitiy.
- Make sure you are adapting to the child`s movements. It is perfectly alright if it is wriggling, or wanting to sit, or lie in a different position, or play with you.
Looking for easy movement.
- Try to integrate the experience of putting your hand on the shoulder into this lesson with your child: What exatctly is happening here? Which part is moving? Where are the differences in-between moving very easily, to not so easy? Can slight variations help? Are you at any point struggling against your own expectations? (I wish this would go a little bit farther? This is the arm I am most worried about). Can you accept what is there?
- You are not trying to achieve, you are looking for easy movements.
- This should never be painful, or sudden. It can be almost invisible. Try it on yourself first. If anything is painful ( like a dislocated hip), just skip it.
You can`t find any movement?
- especially with high spasticity, movements might be hard to find. Here is something you can try: put one hand under the ribcage, the other under the pelvis. Start very gently moving your hands, rocking the child the tinest amount, just enough to feel they are moving. Then start moving the hands in different directions - one up, one down. This is not a twisting movement, but an imitation of the tiny movements we all do in gravity (you can experience it standing still with eyes closed for a minute).
Don`t worry. This is the first approximation. You don`t have to get it right, and we will repeat and pick up on what we are trying to achieve here.
Most important is to set a basic atmosphere for your collaboration: both you and your child should feel comfortable, secure, and curious.
If you are calm and really curious, you will do it right. Don`t worry about the details too much right now. If you both feel well after the experience and feel that this was interesting, you did it!
Our hands and instincts know more than we give them credit for. I could explain for a long time, and make it more difficult for you. A gentle human touch is not science, but something we carry in our genes - especially as caretakers and parents. You will see the results later on, and use this knowledge without thinking about it.