“My daughter has Down’s syndrome and complex needs. She’s spent a lot of time in hospital, had numerous heart surgeries and had a stroke when she was very young. But she’s battled through and has grown into a really lovely young girl.
In the first lockdown everything she had achieved regarding her independence particularly in her personal care just went two steps backwards. Mentally, she kept repeating herself, you could see lockdown was a strain on her. Thankfully, that was when Lifeworks offered mindfulness online and because there has to be someone there with her all the time I sat in with her, and we both loved it. She was really brilliant at it.
During the mindfulness and after, she was more likely to interact with other people and was less inside herself. She went from repeatedly re-enacting conversations or episodes of Mr Tumble to not doing that. We would wait and see what she would do, and she started to come up to us and want to play a game. It brought her out of herself. I could see she was getting into to it because should would sit with her eyes closed, completely relaxed and you could see that she was in the zone. The practice sessions were quite short, which was good, because she is like a gold fish, she only stays put for maybe a minute or two and this grounded her a wee bit.
She started to say how she was feeling, rather than me speaking for her asking ‘are you feeling this?’ or ‘are you feeling that?’, she would say a word to describe how she felt. After the in-person sessions she would re-enact what she had done that day and go and sit in her sisters or brothers room and then she would close her eyes and relax and say ‘So, how are you feeling?’. I saw a video of her during an in-person session in the summer where she helped to lead the practice. She had a little sound bowl which she rang. I could hear her asking, ‘how are you feeling?’ to the other people in her bubble. She had such a big smile on her face and the fact she was taking control of the situation as well, it was brilliant. It wasn’t something I had ever seen her do before. It was not that she didn’t have confidence she just has always been a bit more of a follower, and a watcher. That’s why she needs a one to one enabler, for them to encourage her to do things. So, to see her
slowly and independently go and do it herself, rather than be prompted by someone was amazing.
Doing the parallel parents mindfulness sessions was definitely beneficial because I could understand what they were trying to do.
The mindfulness has been a really good positive thing for her to do. And for me as well.”
In spring 2021 we are offering mindfulness sessions with expert mindfulness teachers at The Mindful Choice. They take place online every Saturday at 11am as part of our Safe-Space service. If you have a young person with a learning disability please get in touch to join us. Email [email protected] or call 01803 861 069.