Helping Maisy Cope with Bereavement

How do you help comfort a child with PMLD after a bereavement? When Maisy’s beloved Granny died (see photo below), her mother struggled to know how to explain her sudden loss. Then Sophie discovered the Story Massage Programme and began using positive touch to help offer support and reassurance to Maisy. Sophie tells us more in this heartwarming blog.

Our Amazing Maisy

“Our darling Maisy came into this world 14 years ago, 9 weeks premature. She was 2lb 12oz. The tiniest baby I have ever seen and she was mine. She had numerous problems and suffered two bleeds to the brain which sadly resulted in her being blind, she also has cerebral palsy, severe epilepsy, scoliosis of the spine and numerous other medical and health issues but…. she is our amazing Maisy who has fought with all her might right from her very first breath.

Bereavement for Children with PMLD

“Maisy had a real connection with her Granny. They loved their cuddles and special times together – it was a wonderful example of the impact of positive touch on a relationship. Then six years ago my dear mum died and we all struggled so much with this bereavement. I couldn’t explain to Maisy why all of a sudden this beautiful contact with her Granny was never going to be there again. I was desperate to find something and some way to still be able to give Maisy a little piece of her Granny. I wanted to give her comfort and some type of understanding of the huge loss we were all struggling to come to terms with.

A Wonderful Life

“We discovered that my mum had written some beautiful poems about the things that were important to her. One of these was written when Maisy was born. My dad put the poems together into a book and called it ‘A Wonderful Life’. And we all loved reading the poems and remembering my mum.

Positive Touch and Poetry

“Then I trained in the Story Massage Programme – and a whole new world opened up to me. Finally, I had the opportunity to give something to Maisy that her Granny had left for just her. I applied the Story Massage strokes to my mum’s poem (see above).  It is such a great comfort to Maisy and myself to be able to share her wonderful love in a truly positive and comforting way. It has helped us all to remember my mum in a way that she would have loved – through the powerful combination of positive touch and poetry.

Our daughter Poppy loves Story Massage too! She has just won the first Junior Best Practice Award for Story Massage. She writes her own massage stories to share with Maisy – and they have a truly magical bond with each other.”

More about the Story Massage Programme

Are you inspired by Sophie’s blog about bereavement? The Story Massage Programme combines the benefits of positive, respectful touch with the words – of stories, poems or rhymes. Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of the programme. These strokes have a child friendly name, such as The Circle or The Sprinkle, and an easy to recognise symbol (shown in the poem for Maisy, above). It is a fully inclusive activity, no clothing is removed and no oil is used.

We run one day accredited training courses. We teach you how to share the ten Story Massage strokes and work with you to adapt familiar stories or poems and even create some sensory stories of your own. Ideal for teachers, SEN staff, support staff, therapists, Early Years practitioners, those working with people with additional needs, Baby Massage Instructors, Relax Kids Coaches… everyone with an interest in sharing positive touch activities with children. All the information is here: Story Massage Training

Story Massage Training near Liskeard, Cornwall

We’ve chosen a beautiful venue for our training day in Cornwall – Botelet Farm near Liskeard – on Tuesday 5th May 2020.  This FHT accredited CPD day course is open to everyone interested in sharing positive touch activities with children and adults of all ages and abilities.   Continue reading

Enhancing Communication for Pupils with PMLD

Communication and social interaction are key benefits of the Story Massage Programme at Ty Gwyn Special School in Cardiff. The school is now a Centre of Excellence and has been using the programme effectively with pupils with PMLD and autism for over two years. We talk to Hollie Parsons, senior teaching assistant, who says: “The Story Massage Programme has made a real difference to our pupils and we use it regularly whenever and wherever we can.” Continue reading

Summer Holiday Fun with our Online Course!

Are you looking for new Summer Holiday FUN activities for all the family? Story Massage is the perfect activity to keep everyone happy and engaged. And we now have a Story Massage Online Course to help you learn at a time and place to suit you. Sign up today and you could be sharing Story Massage with children within a few days. Continue reading

Poppy Wins Junior Best Practice Award

Just look at this beautiful photo of Poppy Munnery, aged 8, massaging her sister, Maisy, who has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. We are so impressed and inspired by all the wonderful stories that Poppy has written for Maisy that we have presented her with the very first Junior Best Practice Award.

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Story Massage Training in Birmingham

Discover the powerful combination of storytelling with simple massage techniques on this accredited training in Birmingham on Weds 29th Jan 2020.Open to everyone with an interest in sharing positive touch activities and peer massage with children and adults. For all the dates and venues please visit Story Massage Training Dates and Venues.  Continue reading

Emotions at the End of the School Year

The end of the school year can bring mixed emotions for many pupils. These feelings are expressed in a positive and affirming Story Massage written by pupils and staff at The Early Focus Project and St James Primary School, Dublin 8. We hope you find it helpful.  Continue reading