We created our second Sensory Science workshop in response to the challenges disabled children face during the many medical appointments and procedures they typically experience. In May 2017 we surveyed parents and carers of disabled children and medical professionals to deepen our understanding of the issue.
We found the following:
- 34% of medical procedures had to be repeated because
- of issues such as anxiety and distress according to estimates from the medical professionals
- 9 out of 10 rating awarded by parents/carers for their experience at medical appointments (with 10 being extremely challenging
- 68% of parents/carers reported that medical appointments were difficult experiences
Children and their parents/carers clearly suffer great distress and the need to repeat medical appointments puts even more strain on parents/carers efforts to hold down a job whilst caring for their child.As well as this, the situation represents a significant waste of the NHS’s budget.
Our research inspired us to create a new workshop to address the issue.
In the summer of 2017 we created a new workshop to support children to discover how their bodies work while familiarising them with things they might see and experience during medical appointments and procedures.
The workshop is built upon the medical procedures and stress points that our research revealed to be the hardest for disabled children to cope with. These include blood tests, Electroencephalogram (EEG), MRI scans, general anaesthetics and several stress points – waiting, noisy or crowded areas, unfamiliar people, staying still and not understanding what’s happening. Our Human Body workshop features characters “See Through Steve” and Superhero Doctors and Nurses leading the children on a fun exploration of their bodies and medical environments.
Our Human Body workshop helps disabled children to:
- Increase their understanding of the human body and how it works in everyday life
- Develop an increased understanding of biology, reinforcing learning at school
- Build their conceptual understanding of science and ‘working scientifically’. Our workshop teaches skills taught at lower key stages of the national curriculum, such as asking simple questions, performing simple tests and making observations
- Increase understanding of what to expect in a medical appointment and procedure, reducing anxiety and building resilience
- Increase team working skills and their awareness of others
We have had great feedback so far with 85% of children attending Human Body Workshops saying they now saw medical professionals as Superheroes, ready to help them. Before the workshop 69% of children reported feeling nervous about going to hospital.
92% said attending the Human Body Workshop had made them feel better about seeing the doctor or attending appointments in future. This is exactly what we love to hear, and we’re looking forward to bringing See-Through-Steve and his positivity to more children throughout 2018.