Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Having worked for several years in a school for children who were severely physically and intellectually disabled, I came to the conclusion that children with communication impairment prefer to be involved with music, movement and play rather than those activities that have an expectation of interaction. However when there is a difficulty with communication, the ability to interact in play will also be restricted and these children will often prefer to isolate themselves from other children to create their own world.

Children who find it hard to express themselves through words and language remind us to be accurate, brief and clear in our communication. Our body language and tone of voice need to match what we are saying so that we don’t give a conflicting message. To avoid confusion and misunderstanding, it may help to offer multi sensory aids (music, objects, pictures, sounds, fragrances) to cue the child into the  activity.  Encouraging the child to listen, feel, see, touch or smell means that they don’t have to rely on only one channel of communication in order to understand the words being used,  or the request being made.

Some children with sensory impairment are fearful and resistant to touching any hard or solid object but will reach out to something that is soft or furry. Conversely another child may recoil from something soft, preferring to feel solid objects . With sensitivity and patience these difficulties can be overcome as the deep unconscious memory affecting their behaviour is safely released through a pleasurable activity. The colours of the rainbow spectrum each correspond to a specific frequency of vibration and slow flowing movements of diaphanous material in these colours enhanced by appropriate music will link the child to a higher frequency of light (vibration) offering dynamic possibilities for healing.

Children with autism often have difficulty seeing things from another’s point of view and may enjoy observing the effect their behaviour is having on those around them. These children often have difficulty connecting to their feelings and therefore are unable to comprehend the feelings of others . They may let go of their repetitive behaviours if they are in a safe, structured and predictable environment where there is always a calm response to their behaviour.  Young children mirror anxiety and emotional upset in the adults around them and the introduction of the Emerald Alignment  to parents, carers and teachers has proved very beneficial. Daily practice of this simple, safe technique aids relaxation by releasing stress from the physical body and taking anxiety from the mind through attunement to a higher stream (frequency) of consciousness. It is more than a visualisation because it transforms at a sub atomic level. Reduced anxiety improves relationships and stabilises emotional responses.

Gold-ThreadTimmy was only five when we first met, he had a diagnosis of autism and no speech. He sat quietly, his hands folded in his lap staring in front of him. When we were alone, I sang nursery rhymes  and he would occasionally look at me and touch my cheek gently. Timmy sat patiently until I had finished singing and then stood up to return to his classroom.  My props were simple and on one particular day I brought a pink rose from the garden, a small gold star and some golden thread.

Before taking Timmy into the little side room we used, I had threaded some golden twine through the star so that I could hold it up for him. We then went hand in hand into the room and sat together facing each other on the floor. I held the pink rose towards him and he paused and then bent his head and put his little nose into the velvety petals.  As he sniffed the fragrance, his little face lit up with a smile.  The first smile I had seen. Timmy then sat back and turned to the little gold star lying on the floor beside me and lifted it up in the air by its golden thread and turned to me with a solemn gaze. I took this as my queue and sang ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’. He sat looking at me holding up the star in his chubby little hand,…….I sang it again. When I had finished he put the star beside him on the floor and took hold of my arms and pulled them round him tightly and held them there for a moment. After our hug, he stood up solemnly, put his hand in mine and we walked slowly back to his class room. Had the pink rose the golden thread, the star and the song helped Timmy to remember where he came from?

Many different fragrances and songs can be used to heighten awareness and trigger a positive memory for a child. I have documented my research with practical suggestions in my Sensory Rainbow manual for parents and teachers. We cannot possibly know the past experience and the memories of the children we meet and therefore the senses must be stimulated gently and with respect. What calms one child, may frighten another.

If you are looking for another way of working, I talk about the principles underpinning my work in my download teaching manuals and blogs.

Email:  jennifer.warters@lightvoice.org.uk

Musical Magic CD is available with nursery rhyme tracks to encourage shared enjoyment , a lullabye and a story to reduce anxiety, instil peaceful feelings and bring restful sleep.