Because childhood is about fun

Posted by
Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity
Posted on
10:53am, 6th January
Ava plays on the floor with toys

Roald Dahl nurse Tamsin tells us about her training to help children with neurological disorders

As well as creating much-needed new nursing posts in hospitals across the UK, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity also supports the training and development of specialist nurses and healthcare professionals.  We help them to attend courses and conferences, to keep their specialist skills up to date and ensure that they can continue to provide the best possible care for the children they look after.

We recently funded Roald Dahl Paediatric Occupational Therapist Tamsin to attend a specialist course in relationship based therapy for children with neurological disorders.  It helps empower parents to support their children through play.  Here’s what Tamsin had to say about the course:

“It was AMAZING and I learnt so so much, so thank you very much for sponsoring this. 

DIR Floortime as a therapy is founded on the belief that every child is a genius with buckets full of potential; all it takes is a relationship to unlock it. It is a therapy approach that can be applied to all children including those limited in their ability to engage through behavioural, emotional or physical disability. 

The introductory course provided me with a basic understanding of the key determinants of Floortime.  By correctly profiling a child it allows me to meet the child at their level, and to join them in unlocking their potential through play. Because childhood is about fun - and children want to play - and it's not about what they do, but how and who with that makes it meaningful.

This is particularly useful in my current work setting at King’s College Hospital. All the children I work with have a barrier to play: either physical or emotional. The families I work with struggle to be playful with their kids, mostly due to their levels of stress and concern from having sick child. 

The training has given me strategies to work directly with my patients and to connect with them emotionally and psychologically, which is half the battle won in working towards rehabilitation and discharge. It also has given me skills to empower parents so that they too can connect with their children despite their immediate difficulty and the trauma they may be facing. It is a wonderful approach that allows parents to play with their kids at a time of much stress.

For most parents, being able to play with your child is natural and joyful, but for many of the families supported by our Roald Dahl nurses, the stress of the child’s illness can get in the way.  We are so pleased that Tamsin has learned new strategies to help the families she supports to get back to the serious business of having fun with their child.

Visit our nursing page to find out more about Roald Dahl nurses, including details of how to apply for our brand new Roald Dahl nurse post at Great Ormond Street Hospital.