Refugee Mothers and Toddlers, Chelsea, MA
We can see even the most agitated children begin to relax… Last week, we saw one boy just on his own with his mom, for the first time; they are having numerous challenges together (she has young twins at home, too). When I saw mom at the end of the week, she volunteered that the day after group, when things had been rough, she had gotten out a blanket and started doing the movements!!! Thank you for teaching us: the group is clearly a lovely and soothing opportunity for both kids and adults…
Pam Miller, EdD, LICSW, Safe Start Director, MGH Chelsea
Katrina Survivors, Long Beach, MS
I am still so overwhelmed on how well your program goes over every time we have a class. I have seen some interesting things take place with very active children after just 2 classes. My director swore it was the hardest bunch in the school. I wasn’t sure it would work, especially with twelve children. We just went for it, and they loved it! The next day was bad weather and the kids were all wound up, so my director asked me to do Rainbowdance again. I wish you could have seen those “very active” boys loving their little bears in the lullaby-ending circle. They truly were in another place. Later I went in their room and asked them to tell me what they liked best about it, and their answers let me know that Rainbowdance is exactly what we need.
Karen Meyers, First Baptist Preschool
Deaf Autistic Children, Boston, MA
When the ladies explained that they would like to come to my class once a week to do Rainbowdance with us, I admit that my first reaction was skepticism. How in the world would we fit this activity into our day? My students are already years behind their peers and three of the four are on MCAS-alt this year. Despite my initial reaction, I agreed to have them come the following Wednesday to try it. The first class was magical. My students all took off their shoes, donned tunics and sat with strangers, despite the fact that any of these events in isolation could have and should have triggered the obsessive behaviors and anxious reactions I had seen so many times already in the year. Even my youngest and most delayed student put her aggressive behaviors aside and relaxed. Seeing the students relax allowed myself and my two paraprofessionals to relax as well. As my skepticism began to fade away, I found myself enjoying the activity and seeing my students in a new light. In the months that followed, we have all witnessed incredible growth in my class. The students are thrilled to see the picture of our Rainbowdance friends on the schedule every Wednesday, as am I! It provides a wonderful respite in the middle of the week, and helps us to refocus our energy and put any negative incidents aside. It allows my students to let down the shield around them and engage with those in their environment.
Rebecca McVey, Teacher, Horace Mann School – Deaf Autistic Class