The Coronavirus outbreak has affected everyone and SensationALL is no exception!

With our face to face services at the Old Schoolhouse suspended, our dedicated team immediately began investigating alternative options to support our families remotely.

Social distancing and restricted movement have meant extensive changes in routine which is hard for everyone but, it is extra challenging for families living with a support need (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pathological Demand Avoidance, Attention Deficit Disorder, learning disabilities, sensory processing conditions and mental health issues).

That is why, at SensationALL, we are committed to continuing to offer our tailored, practical support to those who need it via digital platforms for as long as lockdown lasts.

SensationALL virtual services

For many of our service users, socialising and processing the world around them can be a constant, daily struggle. For our staff, the prospect of not having direct contact with service users was unthinkable and the team were all motivated to come up with new ways of continuing our much-needed support remotely.

So, with some creative, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking we devised a range of virtual services which will have a significant positive impact on our families’ lives, resulting in happier, calmer children and adults!

Despite a steep learning curve with video call platforms and IT (we’re clinicians so tech is not our strong point!) we are now in our second month of delivering a range of virtual services, including:

@home sessions

1:1 video calls with a SensationALL team member who provides tailored interaction.

The call can include sensory activities, relaxation, games or just a chat – whatever the individual needs!

virtual SociALLise

Weekly group video calls for our teenagers & young adults so they don’t miss out on keeping in touch with friends and all-important social interaction. The calls are a great way for the youngsters to share experiences and feelings with peers whilst being supported by our team.

So far, sessions have included… show & tell, quizzes on a variety of topics, drawing, zentangle (mindful) doodling, games (Pictionary, Charades etc.) group sing & sign, TikTok routines, origami, photo competitions and there’s more to come… phew!

mood meter

We’ve adapted our popular self-regulation programme to an online format!

This invaluable programme is for school-aged children with support needs who struggle with emotional regulation or behavioural management. We teach them how to identify, understand and deal with over-whelming emotions and situations. The 4-week online programme starts in May.

Tea and Tips

Our advisory consultations are needed now more than ever!

Parents/carers can have a confidential talk (phone or video call) with one of our senior practitioners about specific challenges they are facing. We will provide practical strategies and techniques to use at home to make lockdown easier.

We are great listeners!

So far, the response has been amazing with 90% of parents rating the virtual support sessions as ‘highly beneficial’ to the individual. Plus, 100% of them reported a benefit or high benefit to their own wellbeing. One parent commented:

 “My son has been unsettled and had a very difficult day the day before. Chatting with a member of the team helped him to remember he is part of a community, that those people are still there, and it reminded him to use his emotions assessment tool. He enjoyed the activities and the breathing exercise helped him settle his mind. Amazing all in a 30 min session!”

In addition to the structured services, we’ve increased the amount of FREE online content available to our followers on social media and those on our mailing list. We are sharing regular video tutorials on Facebook and You Tube so people can follow along at home (Makaton, yoga, make-your-own sensory tools, relaxation exercises and even baking).

Our newly created Resource web page is your reference point for all the best links, resources and guides out there – we’ll save you the time and effort of filtering all the masses of available information!

Plus, our series of @home e-newsletters are packed full of information of how to cope with lockdown when you’re caring for an individual with a support need or disability.

Lastly, (if all that wasn’t enough!) as part of the 2.6 Challenge fundraising campaign we compiled an electronic activity bookMake, Bake, Feel Great! – with 26 activities to do at home.

Copies of this fantastic resource are available in return for a small donation to support us while fundraising events are on hold.

But, we’re not done yet – we have more plans in development… online training courses (to replace of our previously scheduled workshops) and more possible virtual services for the summer.

Obviously, no one is sure how long lockdown or social distancing will last but, for as long as it does we’ll keep adapting our services to meet demand and support you however required.

Get in touch to tell us what you need and look out for future surveys asking for your feedback!

Stay safe, stay SensationALL!

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