British Journal of Special Education, 2005
Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) characteristically display a lack of shared attention behaviours and the lack of these behaviours impacts on their ability to develop social interactions and relationships with others. Steve Solomons, assistant headteacher at Rectory Paddock School and Research Unit in the London Borough of Bromley, set out to explore these issues as an aspect of practice when he was working at St. Ann’s School in the London Borough of Merton. He carried out this research as part of his MEd in special education at the University of Birmingham, for which he received the prestigious Annie Deakins prize in 2003. The aim of his study was to investigate whether aromatherapy massage could increase shared attention behaviours in a sample of four children with autistic spectrum disorders and severe learning difficulties (SLD). Aromatherapy massage was introduced into the daily timetable and children’s responses were observed. The results indicate that children’s shared attention behaviours increased during aromatherapy massage and that other aspects of their behaviour also changed over the course of the research. Family involvement in the study enabled these changes to be transferred from school to home. In this article, Steve Solomons explores the implications of his research for new teaching and learning opportunities for children with autistic spectrum disorders and severe learning difficulties.
Solomons S. Using aromatherapy massage to increase shared attention behaviours in children with autistic spectrum disorders and severe learning difficulties. British Journal of Special Education. 2005;32(3):127-137.