Last year I wrote a post about the power of taking breaks. I described how I’d learnt to recognise when I needed to stop, and the type of break my body or mind required – sometimes this involves resting and sometimes it involves moving about.
In that post I shared a card I’d made for young people, their families and teachers who wanted to build these break-taking skills too.
Not long afterwards I was contacted by nine-year-old Jazz and her mum. Jazz has Tourettes and her teachers had downloaded the break card resource from the website. Her mum explained that using this card had helped Jazz with ways to manage her tics at school. She also said that Jazz had started experiencing some tics that caused her pain and she wanted a way of letting the adults around her know this discreetly.
Her mum reached out to see if such a resource existed. It didn’t. But I thought it was a great idea so I’ve worked with Jazz and her family to develop a new ‘Support Request’ card – Jazz has been testing this and we wanted to make it available to others too so you can download it here.
We’ve created a few different template cards including ones specifically for pain, and more general ones that have space for you to write or draw the things that help you or that you’d like others to know. You can use whichever works for you or use them as inspiration to make your own.
I’d like to thank Jazz for coming up with such a great idea and for collaborating with us. I hope it’s been helping her teachers understand her experiences better.
Alongside learning to take breaks and pace myself another transformative moment for me was when I realised that if something wasn’t working I could take action to change it.
By noticing a gap in what was needed, explaining this to others, and then working with us on a solution, that’s exactly what Jazz has done – she’s been part of making a positive change both for herself and our community – and I’m sure this won’t be the last time.