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Massage, Relaxation and Sleep

Massage at Strathmore School

What is it?

Headline information. With parental permission, massage is used for sensory regulation and communication. Massage is done either in a group – peer massage, or on a 1:1 basis. When massage is done in a group setting the leading adult may use a Powerpoint presentation or other visuals to guide the students. This may show shapes for students to copy or a story for them to follow along to, including sensory experiences such as water or sounds. Where massage is used on a 1:1 basis with an adult, students make choices using their communication method (PECS, Proloquo2go etc). These choices could be a choice of cream, choice of where they would like massage e.g. hand or back, whether they would like more or if they would like to stop.

Students are always asked if they would like massage, their choice of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is always listened to and respected.

What are the aims?

The aims of using massage in school are to

  1. regulate sensory needs, for example use light touches or tickles to alert, stimulate or ‘wake up’ a student and pressure to give sensory feedback or ground students.
  2. generalise skills of mark making and number by producing the correct number of a shape or movement.
  3. Teach our students the importance of appropriate touch, for example asking for consent to touch and always respecting this choice.

How is it used / delivered/ who is responsible?

1:1 or in a group led by an adult.

Who are the people I need to talk to for more information / support?

Your class teacher

Can I use it at home?/ What can I do at home?

Yes, see further reading for information on massage for sleep and examples of alerting, calming and stimulating strokes.

Further reading

File on massage for sleep, link to the massage in schools programme

links to peer massage,

Benefits of massage for Autism: