Sensory-based therapies are incredibly important in the treatment of children with disabilities. At Tek Ura we have incorporated sensory therapy into our rehabilitation approach, mainly for children with neurological and sensory integration difficulties, cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorders. Our vision at Tek Ura is that there should be a flourishing community for all, where people feel valued, interconnected and are active participants.
Our sensory therapy work is one way people with disabilities can realise this vision. Currently, we run 4 sensory groups, each using the TACPAC® method (an online resource for communication through touch and music) Our therapy seeks to improve the way children communicate through touch and sound, and increase their participation in family and community life.
This month, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we were excited to hold our first TACPAC® graduation ceremony for 3 of our inaugural cohort. We are so proud of their achievement and their parent’s and caregiver’s contributions in enabling their children to finish the course. The caregivers are now more aware of the importance of sensory communication between the child and themselves. They are more confident in explaining to others the benefits of including sensory experiences in their rehabilitation. Also, parents are more alert to their children’s body language responses when they like or dislike something, and whether they can tolerate a particular pattern on their body. Xhina, Tek Ura’s project leader, explains ‘it’s encouraging how parents have been able to transfer what they have learnt at sensory therapy at home, and how caregivers are now more alert to the cues within the child’s environment.’ ‘The children have become more tolerant of external stimuli now. We have seen them enjoying the sensation of the grass, the sun on their face, having a bath. These experiences are no longer scary and they can tolerate being in crowded environments. As a result, their wellbeing has improved.’
Annie Dupree, one of the Directors of Tek Ura is delighted how the TACPAC® resources have engaged the children in sensory groups ‘The combination of music with therapy and socializing with other children in the group gives the participants great pleasure. We noticed that their tendency to make friends and socialize, within the group has increased. These children were previously isolated at home, not attending a school facility and had never attended group therapy before.’
Xhina adds ‘beyond all of these fantastic achievements, the most important improvement has been the development in the relationship between the parents and the children. TACPAC® and our sensory work has become a catalyst for the parents to engage with their child and for the children to respond to their mother, fostering their connection, but in a practical way. The children feel valued, listened to, have fun and relax!
Annie has been encouraged by Tek Ura’s growing partnership with Tek Ura, ‘we would like to thank Hilary, the founder of TACPAC® for supporting us in each set with online tutorials and offering the three children a free TACPAC® set in order for them to continue this therapy at home’. ‘The receiving of the Susie Fuller Award for TACPAC® for 2020 is a great honor for us and we are very thankful for the opportunity given to change our children’s lives. Sensory therapy is unique here in Albania and provided by Tek Ura only. Looking forward, we are looking to create a network of specialists, working with children interested in this therapy. In this way TACPAC® can be part of other facilities and more children can access the therapy.’
Below you can find some feedback for our mums on how this therapy impacted in their children’s everyday life; Dallendyshe: It is the only therapy that Mendi has enjoyed from the beginning until the end. I have seen Mendi change a lot during this time especially in her cognitive behaviour. It’s a therapy where not only Mendi has learned a lot but even I as a parent. Thank you a lot.
Nazllije: We have great memories in our journey. Valbona was very excited every time she knew it was the day to come to the center to have therapy. We live in a difficult situation so this therapy was an amazing opportunity for Valbona to be with friends and have fun.
Ela: I am very glad that Rajden has enjoyed a lot this group therapy. I am very proud that we were part of the first group experiencing TACPAC® and the fact that Rajden took part in a graduation ceremony. I will never forget this moment.
At Tek Ura we have witnessed fantastic sensory improvement in some of the children participating in our project, and it has been so exciting to see them being able to engage with the world around them through new sensory experiences.
If you want to partner with us at Tek Ura, and make a life changing difference to the lives of people with disabilities - we would love to hear from you by email at [email protected] or donate today at http://tekura.org/donate