Lotus Reflexology - Potential project to help children and teenagers with autism spectrum conditions
hgkc client Kate McEwan of Lotus Reflexology has in depth experience in working with several autistic children, and has seen the significant improvements in their wellbeing. It is a continuing source of frustration for her that more parents are not aware of how useful a treatment it can be.
When lockdown was first announced, Kate put her time and energy into planning and launching the Potential Project, announced this month in the Sedgemoor Apple. Designed to help children and teenagers with autism spectrum conditions, the Potential Project offers each child or teenager a series of six reflexology treatments with the aim of reducing anxiety and helping to manage behaviours that challenge.
Her aim is to work with 100 individuals over the next two years to further her research into the positive impact of reflexology on autism. Her research will be published as a book, and her learning will be developed into a programme that other reflexologists can take up so that they too can offer this treatment, supplementing an over-stretched and underfunded Special Education Needs service, and providing a new source of relief to parents and children alike.
However, Kate also recognised that buying into the Potential Project might be difficult for parents during these difficult times, so she also invested in an on-line shop selling branded products - foot creams, body lotion, scented candles, etc - and announced that all the profit from her shop would go towards the cost of treatments.
A recent BBC Panorama highlighted just how much the changes caused by the pandemic have aggravated many children's anxiety and behaviours, and the recent Ofsted and CQC SEND report for Bristol (published in November 2019) found that needs around social and emotional health were not identified early enough and that very little was being offered until a crisis point was reached.
The continued misconception that reflexology is just another spa treatment presents barriers to Kate's work, and makes it harder for parents with children in crisis to gain access to a treatment that can provide relief – for them as well as for their children - and prevent that crisis.
hgkc have just nominated Kate for the Women's Business Giving back Award, which we think she thoroughly deserves for her self-less commitment to helping mitigate the stress and anxiety of children who - already in the middle of an unpredictable and limited childhood - are now struggling to cope with a pandemic that seems likely to continue well into next year. Please lend your support and vote for her.