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In my early days as a speech and language therapist, I had a deep desire to work creatively with children but became disillusioned with systems and methods of working that failed to address the child’s underlying emotions.  I was acutely aware that in the past, my own experiences had coloured  my perception of what was really going on  and this had caused me to make judgements which had interfered with the child’s ability to progress.  Professional assessment whilst providing a diagnosis indicates a list of assumptions about what the child is or is not capable of and limits and veils our perception of the child’s potential.

Having tried and tested numerous working methods, whilst working with children struggling in the school system, I eventually came to the conclusion that focusing on a child’s impairment and endeavouring to teach them to do what they find most difficult is a debilitating exercise for both child and teacher.  I was inspired with the dawning realisation that children are able to heal themselves surprisingly quickly when offered positive creative choices.  These choices should be based on what the child enjoys doing within a structured framework of familiarity, routine and clear boundaries.  This approach caused me to shift my focus from the left brain, the seat of impairment, to the creative intuitive aspects of the right brain.

In my later work as a Holistic Voice Consultant and  toning therapist, I became convinced  that a child’s enjoyment of a creative task causes positive light energy to flow into those areas of the brain that are impaired, just as sunshine and water droplets stimulate plant growth through the process of photosynthesis.

Children benefit from interacting with the elements of nature, earth, water plants, trees and all life forms.  This activity engages those parts of the central nervous system that are unimpaired.  There is now much evidence to show that plants, flowers and trees respond to our emotional state and harmonise our energy flow.  We feel better if we smell the roses.

Relationship to other people, to the land and to animals is how we become connected to each other and how we learn.  I have been lucky enough to visit central Australia more than once and  through the connections I made, I discovered that relationship was of paramount importance to Aboriginal society.  Exploration of the environment is encouraged and within the family groups, all generations learn together, sharing knowledge and socialising.  The children learn at their own level sharing resources, ideas, thoughts and feelings.  Through observation and interaction they learn to gauge each other’s emotions, behaviours and style.

Hyperactive children who reflect the anxiety of those around them are more likely to become calmer and settled in the presence of an adult who predictably responds to them with a calm voice and demeanour.

All too often we ‘shine a torch’ on a child’s difficulty in the hope that any new learning will be integrated into their daily life.  Instead we need to refocus their minds away from their own difficulty and involve them in an enjoyable creative experience of their choosing.  This will relax them, restore their confidence and begin to melt away self-doubt.  A relaxed child will learn more easily.  The positive energy of enjoyment will change the child’s perception of their own difficulty which will be diminished as a result.

It is my hope that my passion and love of this work will inspire you too.  In my manual Communication Guidelines for Children with Special Needs,  I have provided some suggestions to help you follow your own intuition in working creatively with the children you meet.

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Improving Academic Performance with Music

“It’s recognised in this school that those boys and girls who play a musical instrument tend to perform better in exams”.

Many years have passed since my schooldays but I can still clearly recall my music teacher, Mr. Daines, making the above statement at the start of my very first music lesson at secondary school. The school had a strong reputation for music, with a good orchestra and choir and I did wonder at the time if his claim was true or whether it was just a clever ploy to get more potential recruits for his beloved orchestra.

I was keen to learn to play an instrument and so I ignored any doubts I had  and happily repeated what he had said to help convince my parents that I should learn to play the trombone, something which they no doubt regretted once the peace of the family home was shattered by my daily practice.

I’m not sure whether Mr. Daines could call upon any hard evidence to support his statement but over the years since that day I’ve found numerous research articles and case studies that endorse his view: music does indeed enhance academic performance.  Unfortunately, the educational authorities in Britain clearly don’t share this opinion and have already marginalised the teaching of music to such an extent that researchers have warned that it could face extinction as a subject taught in secondary schools. So for them, and anyone else who might be unsure of the benefits of music classes, here are five proven ways in which music training has been shown to assist learning and academic development. + Read More

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Balloons Make Dreams Come True!

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt that my life is being guided and over the years I’ve had many experiences that have deepened this belief. I’ve learned over time that what have seemed to be chance events or meetings have often been important pointers to opportunities for changing the course of my life. As a result, whenever I have a choice to make regarding my next steps in life, I meditate and ask for a sign or a connection, in the belief that my request will be heard. I know that the answer will come to me in some form or other, so providing I remain alert and observant, I know I will be shown a signpost to help me keep to my life plan.

One such occasion occurred back in 2013. I had been out of work for several months awaiting major surgery and had decided that I needed a complete change of career. I felt that my next step should be to volunteer my time but had no idea where I might be able to do this and so I meditated and asked to be shown. A few days later, I was walking back from the local shop and in the distance I could see something red and round floating down the pavement. It didn’t deviate or drift onto the road, but remained on the pavement and I got a sense that it was heading in my direction.

As this red object came nearer I realised it was a balloon. I stopped to watch it as it didn’t seem to be floating randomly like an ordinary balloon. Suddenly, the thought popped into my head that this red balloon might be connected to my request and that if it stopped near my house, I should accept that it was a message for me. + Read More

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Healing Through Play

A subdued little boy of eight was referred to me because of his struggles at home and at school where he was unable to order his thoughts.  When he tried to express himself, his speech was muddled and incoherent.   His actions were clumsy and he often tripped and banged into things.   One day, when given a choice of play materials, he chose to turn the playroom into an obstacle course, using wooden boxes, chairs, tunnels and small tables.  He asked if I would let him blindfold me so that he could lead me through his creation.

I agreed because it felt important for his confidence that he was in charge and that I was dependent on his instructions and physical prompts for my safety.  He then proceeded to tell me when to crouch down, when to lift my foot, when to crawl under a table or slide through a tunnel etc.  He had invented the game and took full responsibility for his role and was totally focused on my safety in our joint venture.

I attached a very long piece of yellow ribbon to my waist and as I moved, I left a yellow trail behind me.  When we had completed the course, I emerged unscathed and we looked back to see the length of ribbon that had marked my steps, a symbol of hope and a mirror of the relinking of the little boy’s own impaired neural pathways.  His instructions were clear and confident throughout because he was thinking more about me than his own difficulty in communication and this activity proved a turning point for us both in many ways.  Through this game of trust we had connected in a unique way and we both had learnt from the experience.

On his subsequent visits to the playroom, we played this game over and over again (I was much fitter in those days), taking turns to lead each other over and under and sometimes through the obstacles blocking our path.  Gradually this little boy’s confidence improved and his speech became clearer.  This confirmed my belief that  children know how to heal themselves , we just have to hone our observation skills, listen and watch for the clues    Shining a torch on a difficulty merely exacerbates the problem and demolishes confidence.  When children are allowed to choose their own activity and are given a lead role , they are  likely  to tap into their own unique self-healing mechanism.

 

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Smoke and Gold

At the time of writing, it is winter in the North of England and lately there’s been snow, hail, sleet, frosty mornings and icy winds.  I’m glad to be able to light a coal fire sometimes and sit and watch the flames. There’s a whole process of clearing ashes, chopping kindling wood and fetching coal and this led me to consider a few things about tending the hearth.  Recently the chimney-sweep came and I was reminded of my father, who used to be a fireman.  He had often attended chimney fires and warned me of the dangers.

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Listen and Learn

Aunty Elsie was 99 years and one month when she died. She was a lady in every sense of the word and had dedicated her working life to teaching children of all ages in primary and secondary schools. She was of the generation when teaching; like nursing, was a vocation and she remained a spinster until the age of 68 when she married 72 year old Les, who had been a friend of Aunty Elsie from her teens. Sadly, they were only together for four years before Les passed away and in the years since, Aunty Elsie had lived contentedly on her own with regular visits from close family for company.

In the last few years of her life we watched as she went through the physical, mental and emotional decline of old age. Some might say she began hallucinating because Aunty Elsie often mentioned that she had been visited by her grandparents, who had passed away many years before, as well as various children and animals, such as birds and cats. Our conversations were often three way with Aunty Elsie passing on my great-grandmas comments! She sometimes mentioned how she had talked to a little girl who regularly visited her. On one occasion when I was with Aunty Elsie, she said that the little girl was there and wanted to hold my hand. When I put out my left hand, my Aunty corrected me saying, “Lynne she’s on the other side of you!” + Read More

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Ecology ~ The Music of Nature

Rainbow Light Trust is based Calderdale, West Yorkshire in the north of England.  We are very fortunate to be surrounded by nature’s garden in this ruggedly beautiful part of the UK.   It is always healing to be able to walk and sit quietly in nature, focusing on the sounds and sensations around us.  Looking at images of nature can revive the experience and inspire us when, for whatever reason, we are unable to be out of doors.  As we move through the cycles and seasons of our lives, we can draw strength from the natural environment.  Here are some links to blogs about the natural environment from members of Rainbow Light Trust:

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Ecology ~ Nourishing the Senses

 

‘The Sensory Rainbow  is a sensory healing programme for children with profound and multiple handicaps.  Dynamic possibilities for healing are created through an understanding of energy flow, using colour, sound, music and creative play.

The manual is of interest to parents, teachers and health-care professionals.  The ideas within the manual also offer creative sensory opportunities for those working with adults with dementia or learning disabilities, who are struggling to make sense of their environment. + Read More

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Ecology ~ Everything has Consciousness and is Interconnected

Today is unique

Look at the sky – it is constantly changing; the clouds will never be the same again today.

The sunlight on the leaves will change.  The shades of green will lighten and darken in a moment.

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have eyes to see them”.
John Ruskin

If we see with new eyes, we can teach the children to do the same.

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Ecology ~ Nature is the Interface between Humanity and the Natural World

Science now recognises that the earth has energy lines called meridians, which mirror our own; the primary energy source for ourselves and the planet.  When we accept this we can see the importance of being in harmony with the earth and everything on it because everything has consciousness and is interconnected.

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