Massage is used for sensory regulation and communication. Massage is done either in a group, on a 1:1 basis, or peer massage where we focus on turn-taking and making requests. Massage provides a good opportunity for pupils to express preferences and make choices including ‘I want more’, ‘I want hand cream’ or ‘finished’.
Massage may also include sensory additions such as water spray, calming music, aromatherapy oils or scented hand cream. Massage is a great way to help pupils unwind, calm down from a busy activity or when they are feeling overstimulated, or to offer to them as a reward for their hard work during their lessons. Students are always asked if they would like massage, their choice of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is always listened to and respected.
Massage works well for pupils who need support with regulating sensory needs. This may include light touches, tickles, or deep pressure to give sensory feedback. Massage is also useful as we teach our pupils the importance of appropriate touch, for example asking for consent to touch and always respecting this choice.
Before using Tac Pac, J was quite reluctant to be touched or bathed. Since using it at home J has been easier to bathe and doesn’t cry as much: he now also quite enjoys a foot rub! I find it quite relaxing and a nice way to wind down from a busy day with him.
Parents should receive a letter explaining the use of massage at school with a consent form for the use of massage creams at the start of the academic year or when your child starts with us. Parents are always welcome to contact the class teacher via the home school diary with any questions.
School will annually run a workshop for parents on the benefits and how to implement massage or therapeutic touch at home with your child.
File on massage for sleep, link to the massage in schools programme
links to peer massage,
Benefits of massage for Autism: