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SEPTEMBER : More classes on the way!


the oneNarberth interview
8 August 2015

Taking time out in a hectic mid summer schedule, Amelia Stone, owner, Big Play Narberth, talked to us about the new sessions she is planning with the Pembrokeshire Branch of the National Autistic Society. Sounds interesting, we started, how was it that she got to be asked to undertake the sessions?

Working with autism and yoga sounds interesting. How was it that you got to be asked to work at the Bloomfield Centre in Narberth to do a couple of sessions?
The sessions will be held in Haverfordwest. I was asked to do the NAS (National Autistic Society) Pembrokeshire branch’s Christmas party after a long standing relationship with a parent who is on the committee.

This has led to being asked to run the yoga sessions.I spent a lot of time and energy working towards including children with SEN and ASD when I managed Bloomfield after school, this included working with the children, their support workers and securing funding for additional needs play workers.

This meant that I developed very close relationships with parents, some of these parents are part of the NAS group.

Funding for these kinds of issues is very limited. It looks like some pioneering work is going on here in South Pembrokeshire. Whoever is funding this initiative deserves a namecheck
The sessions are being funded by the NAS Pembrokeshire – who have a very active group of parents fundraising throughout the year so they can provide support and activities for the children and families.

They also have a very active and supportive Facebook group – which is a real gem for parents who are in need of some moral support, advice or information.

How does working with autistic people differ from working with other groups? Do you have to give a different shape to the sessions?
Working with children with ASD in a group could, potentially be a challenge, as every child will respond to external input in a different way.

My sessions will be inclusive of all children, and allow for any response from the children. Each child will respond to each Activity/ movement/ posture in their own way. But this is what I would expect from a group of children, regardless of their individual needs.

When I work with children I work with them as individual people, in this way I see what their needs are, this is really all that matters.

The session will be delivered slowly, and the children will have a parent/ carer with them for support too- I’m really looking forward to it!

Do you see this aspect of your business becoming something that you might be able to extend beyond Narberth?
Actually I don’t run any activities in Narberth at the moment!

I am planning to phase out Narberth from the name- as people often assume I have a venue there!! I do parties in Narberth. But I now cover all areas in Pembrokeshire and west Carmarthenshire. Weekly sessions are busy in Haverfordwest and Hermon. I’m busy!

Has the preparation for these sessions involved a lot of research?
I have a BSc in education, inclusion, childhood and youth studies, it’s an Open Degree with the OU so I was able to select the subjects that interest me.

I have also undertaken yoga training for Children, Toddlers, mums and babies.

I am currently working towards Pre natal Yoga and Mindfulness, Movement and Meditation. I don’t feel that any one of these courses have been the sole contributor to my work, and believe that we all learn so much more though experience.

The work I do now is a product of the experiences that I have learnt from. My understanding of the needs of the children comes from my engagement with children, (both in work and with my own children) supported by the knowledge base from years of reading and studying.

Actually I think I learn just as much from the children as I might be teaching them ( if not more!).

Link: National Autistic Society: Pembrokeshire Branch

The oneNarberth Interview with Amelia Stone, Big Play Narberth
Simon Montgomery, opinions editor, oneNarberth
8 August 2015

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