Using Tacpac in the Classroom
After coming to a Tacpac training day in New Zealand, Ellen decided to try Tacpac in the classroom. Ellen says:
“My seven PMLD students are all non verbal, only one can walk once standing, one can move around on his tummy, one can roll and the rest are more passive. All can vocalise and are aware of the adult during a Tacpac session. They can show some degree of emotion.”
The first time Ellen tried Tacpac in the classroom:
“I had only 4 students for the first block today and decided to get the box out. Two very interesting things happened. A boy who is so lively, noisy and constantly moves around, totally embraced the session. He clapped after each piece of music as if to say thanks. After the last one he was totally calm, really in the moment and didn’t move for a long time. He just sat there with his blanket around him. Another boy with a very rare uncontrollable movement disorder didn’t like it at all. He kept moving away and complained a lot.”
But over time…
“For the boy who crawled around in the first session and didn’t like it at all, who moaned the whole time, we found a solution. We put him in a gravity chair, so his body could relax a bit better. Then he could look at the adult and interact. When I looked at him from the corner of my eye (working with another student), he sat there, so much calmer, responding to the adult. It was really a huge improvement. Another boy who is very active and loud most of the time, calms down totally and will lie on the mat, on his tummy, for quite a while. We have found that the deep pressure exercises with spatulas and scouring sponges work best with most of my students. Students respond and calm down, liking it. One girl really enjoys the (foot) massage and vocalises and smiles heaps!”
The benefits of using Tacpac in the classroom:
Ellen says: “The relaxing nature of the session helps to build trust, quality time, interaction, peace and quiet for body and mind. I have done a session every week , once a week since the course. It’s been fun and a learning curve for all involved. We will definitely continue our Tacpacking in term 2 and find out more responses.”
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