At Zoë's Place we provide respite for families who have a child aged between 0-5 years, who have a life limiting or life threatening condition. During the time that the child stays with us, we provide various different therapies in order to try and improve quality of life. Take a look below to find out abit more about these services that we offer.
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as a way to communicate. It allows the child to use art materials for self expression in a safe environment, using art instead of spoken words. We have an Art Therapist who visits us to provide sessions with the babies, to work with them to try and help them, as they may find it difficult or scary to express themselves and deal with the challenges that they face. This is particularly true for babies who generally have limited or no vocabularies. Children are naturally creative, and it is usually easier for them to draw a picture as opposed to answering questions directly. They may be reluctant or even hostile about discussing certain topics but creating artwork is a non-threatening venue that allows them to tackle tough issues in a creative way.
With the varied conditions that our babies and toddlers have, physiotherapy is of huge importance and is a big part of the services we provide. It reduces breathing difficulties, aids pain control, helps restore or maintain physical movement, alleviates discomfort from stiff joints spasms & muscle pains, and helps prevent development of future problems. Each child's physio sessions will be individual and tailored to them and our Physiotherapist works with the babies in various different ways. This could be by promoting exercise, encouraging play and movement, providing relaxation techniques such as massage and much much more. The overall aim is to try to ensure that the babies mobility is as normal as possible, to try and help them to maintain as good a quality of life as possible, for as long as possible.
It is important to provide play and stimulation for each baby during their stay with us. Our Play Leader will assess each child individually, to see what their abilities are so that they can tailor each session to their individual needs, and can inform and guide the rest of the staff on the best activities to suit them. Every child loves to play, and that is no exception to the little lives that we care for here at Zoë’s Place. Our soft play area provides a soft and safe environment for our babies to be able to play and have some freedom to explore, just like any other child. Whilst they are in there, we know that they are safe and they are able to have fun. The soft play area also provides a great place to provide Physiotherapy and a chance for our babies to get some exercise.
Animal Assisted Therapy
Animal Assisted Therapy is a unique form of therapy that utilises the unconditional relationship qualities of animals, to enrich therapeutic experiences. AAT is delivered in Human-Canine therapy teams; who work in synchrony to enhance the child’s social, emotional, and cognitive functioning during the therapeutic process.
Animals are naturally a part of a child’s world. When witnessed, the child-animal bond is something pure. A child’s bond with animals teaches empathy and compassion - as well as a host of other skills such as; fine motor, gross motor, sensory regulation, emotional regulation, and social skills to name a few!
Music has always been a powerful tool for expression. It can touch our emotions deeply and allows for a freedom of communication with no words. Using music in an interactive way has positive effects on brain development. For a small baby who is often overwhelmed with external stimuli, music can help the brain organize at staying calm.
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