“Suzie’s recovery has been stimulated by the one to one sessions at Touch Trust. She once again has started to enjoy her life through them. When Suzie is happy we, as a family are too.”
2012 Marilyn Williams, Suzanne's mother.
- Suzie has been coming to Touch Trust for a very long time. Her one-to-one sessions focus on breathing, massage, percussive exploration, enlivenment, focused movement and relaxation.
- Always with a very bubbly personality and eager to participate Suzie enjoys exploring movement, music and connections in her sessions.
- She responds with a deep sensitive understanding to the music and she has a great energy, intuition and embodiment when she moves.
A while back Suzanne unfortunately became ill and was hospitalised for a long time. Marilyn and John, her devoted parents were told by the Doctors that it was Suzie’s time to leave this world. However, Suzie defied the Doctors' prognosis and continued to fight! Marilyn and John also refused to give up hope and once Suzie was well enough to leave hospital and resume activities they brought her back to the Touch Trust Centre.
“My husband and I very much appreciated the care, concern and support shown to us by everyone at Touch Trust, especially through her (Suzanne's) illness.”
Touch Trust's Aid to Recovery
- When Suzie came back to sessions she was depleted, her smile which had illuminated the whole of Wales Millennium Centre had gone, and her movement had no life. The Suzie who had left us was not the same Suzie who had returned.
- Through time, perseverance and encouragement however from family, friends and Touch Trust staff, small positive changes began to take place and improvements noticed.
Communication and Connections
- Suzie’s fighting spirit and determination slowly but surely became apparent and she once again communicated through her movements and connected both with the music and people around her. It was evident that she was going to pull through.
“The time Suzie spends in a session is quality time, all about her and she responds to the stimulation with Karen and her carers Gaynor and Aunty Dorothy. Suzie smiles a lot and during the sessions and even tries to talk again.”
“The first time that I attended Touch Trust with Marianne is still very clear in my mind; it was such a pleasure to see her engage with the space and the session leaders. Throughout the year Marianne has become increasingly responsive to the different activities of her sessions; she focuses on different objects, and makes clear choices. Her ability to understand that her actions cause reactions from others is slowly beginning to develop, and I feel that this has largely occurred through opportunities and encouragement given at Touch Trust. It is as if a door has opened somewhere and Marianne recognising this has stepped through.”
February 2012 Amanda Brown [Former carer of Marianne]
Marianne first came to Touch Trust with her class from Ty Gwyn School. Due to the group session, limitations were put on Marianne’s mobility. So, it wasn’t until Marianne left school at 19 and started to come to us 4 times a week that her potential really started to develop. Being in a one to one session has allowed us to organically adapt and tailor make the session according to Marianne’s energy changes. These changes can be quite dramatic, ranging from dancing and exploring the space, to relaxation and sleeping. The emphasis being on ‘where Marianne is, is right’. She has responded very well to this approach, and as she has become used to the session format we have found that her energy levels have started to follow those of the Touch Trust session, and her understanding of what is coming next is obvious.
In the beginning we were careful to remove any potential distractions from the room, and only bring out things when they
were needed. Then gradually as Marianne became more used to the programme we started to leave things in the room and Marianne ceased to be distracted by them, and became more focused on the session itself.
Confidence, Choice and Decision Making
After attending Touch Trust four times a week for three months Marianne’s understanding of the session grew and grew; and with this so did her confidence. As this confidence started to develop she started to make choices. By limiting the choice and simplifying the situation it has encouraged her to make a decision. We started off by offering the choice of two instruments in the beginning and end of the session. When Marianne was able to choose between these we introduced a choice of three instruments for percussion - this gives her the opportunity to choose the instrument that she would like to explore, and to create the session around her. Lots of praise and encouragement reinforces Marianne’s confidence.
Gradually more choices have been introduced, including giving her the opportunity to choose to use the beach ball or the hoolahoop in her ‘focused exercise’ section as a tool to develop her movements. Marianne is also increasingly pushing things away, or removing herself from them, therefore showing us when she has had enough and is ready to move on.
By making these choices and decisions Marianne is now leading her session in a confident manner, and creating a session within which she is actively happy and secure
Self Expression and Communication
Marianne will sing and vocalise herself to show when she is happy, and likewise when she is unhappy she will make very unhappy sounds. Marianne’s father has said that he loves to hear these sounds, even if they are unhappy because it means that Marianne is now showing how she feels, something she was unable to do before she started coming to Touch Trust. The ability to express herself vocally is perhaps Marianne’s greatest developmental achievement.