Jenny's Story - An Instructor's Experience
CIIM, OTR, AFHFL Program Developer and Trainer
I worked at a Bay Area clinic as an Physical Therapist where.
I also taught Infant Massage, in group and individual
classes, with typically developing children and those with special
needs. After completing my Certification as an Instructor of Infant
Massage with Kalena in 1997, I became committed to bringing Touch
Communication to as many families in my community as possible. A very
large part of my community consists of children with special needs. I
developed simple adaptations and key areas of attention based on the
Touch Communication I learned at the Level I
class. From this, Kalena and I developed AFHFL's Level
II class- Deepening Our Capacity for Successful Implementation with
families and their children with special needs. I currently live in El
Dorado Hills, CA and have a private clinic-based practice of my own
where I continue to teach Touch Communication on a regular basis.
Kalena and I have continued to develop several of our continuing
education courses as well as provide presentations to audiences outside
of the Instructor group. Infant Massage Communication continues to be a
guiding paradigm in both my professional and personal life.
Here's a story about Jenny and her mom, Liz, who attended the clinic when I worked there.
golden curls and a smile of pure sunshine, Jenny lit up the room
twice a week at the clinic where she received physical therapy. Jenny’s
smile frequently faded as she began her necessary therapy and exercise
program because she has a muscular disease that gradually makes her
muscles weaker and harder to control. At only two years old, Jenny’s
therapy program to build her muscles would probably make the best of
body builders shudder. One morning Jenny’s mom, Liz, came to PT early
and witnessed me finishing up an Infant Massage Class. Liz stopped me and asked if massage would be good for Jenny. She wanted to do something for Jenny that would make her feel good, instead just pushing her to work so hard in her therapy sessions. Happily, I told Liz that I would love to show her how to use Infant Massage/ Touch Communication with Jenny.
beginning to practice I.M./Touch Communication, Jenny's mother shared
with me that she was thrilled to now have time each day to gently
stroke Jenny’s skin and listen to Jenny 'talk' with her dear face, her
smiles and a few words. Having a time to focus on how perfect Jenny is
right in the moment of the exchange of loving communication
positively affected both of their lives.
With IM, Jenny cried less
during therapy workouts and she started making faster progress toward
standing up with her walker. Jenny sometimes still cried when therapy
was too hard, but she could get through it more easily. Her Mom felt
better about helping her through her therapy sessions, because she
now knew what to do and had the skills of sharing her love through
Massage and Touch Communication, and it always brought
the sunshine back to Jenny's smile.