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The Importance of TouchIn Bonding
Holly Cooper, Ph.D.hollycooper@tsbvi.eduTexas Deafblind ProjectTexas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
4/12/2018
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Touch
Much of this presentation is based on BART research and presentation materials, developed by EvelynGuyerBondingAndRelaxationTechniqueA stroking routine based on infant massage, researched on infants, young children and youth with DeafBlindness and visual impairment and multiple disabilities.Good Books are included at the end of this presentation
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Touch
Touch is important to theHealthy growth and development of anInfant and young child.
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Touch
Much research in the importance oftouch, nurturing touch and infant massagehas occurred in the past 25-30 years.Somewas based on study of children who had been in neglected conditions in orphanages in eastern Europe.
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Touch
Many of theDeafBlindinfants and young children we work with have had medical crises at or after their birth, often associated with premature birth.
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Traumatic Touch
Early premature infants spend time in Neonatal ICUBlooddrawsMonitors attachedBright lightsNoisyImmature nervous systemInfants respond by withdrawing and shutting out stimuliFrom the Hand to the Heart, E.Guyer
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Traumatic Touch
Formanyinfants with disabilities this discomfort continues into childhood and beyond:Frequent medical visitsMonitors attached at homeTube feedingBraces and supportive devicesPhysical and occupational therapy
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Traumatic Touch
Leads toTactile defensiveness/avoidanceHypersensitivity to touchWithdrawal from touchEmotional and social isolation
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Touch
The less an infant or child (or any human) is touched, the more tactually defensive(avoidant) theybecome.
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Touch
Nurturing touch between a caregiver and infantFacilitates the bonding and attachment process,What EvelynGuyercalls“Falling in Love”
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Touch Deprivation
Studies of infants and young children who have experienced touch deprivation may experience:Delayed growthCognitive delaysHigher incidence of illness and infectionAttachmentdisorderTouch deprivation may be experienceddue toneglect
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Touch Deprivation
Deprivation of touch in infants has been associated withLow survivalratesFailureto thriveViolentand aggressive behavior inchildhood and later lifeSource:From the Hand to the Heart, E.Guyer
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Touch
Touch is even more important for infants and young children with visual impairments or combined vision and hearing impairment.They will see hear and sometimes talk with their hands
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Touch
Traumatic birth experiences and neonatal health crisesare more oftenassociated with maternal depression.Motherswho are depressed, or experiencing post-partum depression, touch their infants less.Source:Touch, T. Field
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Touch
Touch make a difference. Research studies have found:Mothers of low birth weight babies have reduced their infant’s developmental delays with infant massage.Mothers with depression have improved the quality if their touch interactions with their infants when they learn and practice infant massage.Depression in mothers decreased when learning and using massage.Touch, T. Field
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Touch
Many of the children we support may have experienced some or all of the following factors:Traumatic touchMothers experiencing post-partum depression or PTSDGrieving parents and family membersProblems with parent-infant bonding
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Touch
Touch with a loving caregiver is vitally important for a baby especially in the “fourth trimester” or first 3 months after birth.Our babies may be born near the beginning of the third trimester, and their neurological systems may have difficulty with theextremesof sensory input outside the womb.The Vital Touch, S. Heller
1/4/2018
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Touch
Touch in infancy differs among cultures and across time:BreastfeedingCarrying or wearing babiesBaby carriages, baby carriers, strollersConcerns about exposure to germsThe Vital Touch, S.Heller
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Touch
Babies in ArmsBabies who areraised in cultures in which they are carriedand held much of thetime,experience many benefits from this touch. It provides a rich sensory diet.Deep pressureTouchRockingOpportunities to practice trunk controlOpportunities to practice balanceTheVital Touch, S. Heller
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Touch
Babies in a stroller, buggy or wheelchairCannot see their caregiverExperience distance between the caregiver and babyIndependent feeding takes away from caregiver to infant interaction and communication
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Touch
Plastic infant seatsRestrict infant’s movementMay exacerbate motor delaysProvide less sensory input than being held against the caregiver’s bodyPlace baby in a reclined or semi-reclined position promoting drowsiness
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Touch
The negative impacts of insufficient touch and traumatic touch experiences can be lessened by giving the child positive touch experiences with infant massage.The research results documenting the benefits of massage are based on the research for BART.
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to the caregiver:Facilitates the “falling in love process” that occurs between parent and child (bonding)Sets aside special time and activity that occurs between parent and childPositive interactionValidates the role of the parent or caregiver
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Benefits of BART
The BART approachProfessional or paraprofessional demonstrates massage using a life sized baby doll.Parent or caregiver imitates strokes on their child.
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to the caregiver:Facilitates communication through eye contact, touch, securityEnjoyableand relaxing for both parent and childReduces stress
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to the caregiver:Healingthe sadnessDissolving the fear parents may have of caregiving for a medically fragile child
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to thecaregiver.Bartcan be a good way for others to care for the child:FathersSiblingsgrandparents
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to the child:Helps relieve emotional stressHelps relax muscles from physical stressHelps stimulate or relax atypical muscle tone
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to the childHelps with specific body functions such as:CirculationRespirationDigestionElimination
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Benefits of BART
Benefits to the child:Helps with specific body functions such as:SleepWhen the child sleeps well, the parents sleep well!
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Positive Results In Children with Disabilities
Less aggressive behaviorLess self-stimulatory behaviorLess head banging, self abuseHelps children tolerate wearing clothes, shoesImproved postureImproved quality and duration of sleepMeets the need for love and acceptance
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Touch
Many good books are available about the subject of touch and it’s impact on infant development.Here are some good choices.
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BART
From the Hand to the HeartThe book aboutBARTresearch andphilosophyAvailable only from the BART website:www.infantmassagefoundation.com
1/4/2018
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BART
Touch, Second EditionTiffany Field
1/4/2018
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BART
The Vital TouchSharon Heller
1/4/2018
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The end
Holly Cooper, Ph.D.hollycooper@tsbvi.edu
4/12/2018
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Massage and Touch - perkins.org