I work in a special school in Milton Keynes, which caters for pupils from infants through to 25 with ASD and other learning difficulties. At present the programme is based within my class, however from September I will be using the programme around the school on a 1:1 and small group basis due to the benefits and progress we have seen with the pupils in my class.
Firstly, let me describe those I have been using it with, my class is a very boisterous, argumentative, hormonal, non- attentive but enthusiastic class of 11 -14 year old boys with ASD and other learning difficulties. We are classroom based most of the day with limited access to the PE Hall and spaces where we can carry out physical activities. Also due to staffing issues at present I have been unable to deliver the RMT programme on a wholly 1:1 basis. However, with all these restraints in place I have had very positive results with the pupils and they have embraced lots of the movements. So to explain, I use the movements as part of the PE lessons as a warm up and cool down exercise. The pupils join in with these as they see them and experience them as part of the whole lesson and so are not over stimulated by them. It is also fun for them to join in with their peers. Also to incorporate them on a more regular basis I apply the moves to a sensory circuit set up in class to make sure that some extra movements are integrated into their day.
The results of using these movements has been evident in class. Transitioning from PE to lunch was always a very noisy, unsettled period. When the RMT movements are used as part of the cool down programme the pupils are able to move from one lesson to the next in a far more calm manner. When the movements are used in class the pupils are able to sit afterwards, they remain more calm and settled after the movements all of which contributes to them being able to focus on their tasks and work to a far greater degree.
As the movements are enjoyed by the pupils they really like to use them and take ownership of them. One child in particular finds comfort in using the windscreen wipers movement when he his experiencing particularly high levels of anxiety. This works an amazing tool to focus and expend his physical energy while calming his emotional anxieties. This is just a very brief overview of some of the work with RMT and the benefits. I am constantly developing how I incorporate this programme and adapt it to suit those I work with.