Indian Head Massage for Special Needs

Giuliana and Ollie

Indian Head Massage for Special Needs: one lady's incredible journey with her son

The story of CMA Member Giuliana Fenwick and her son Ollie


My life changed irrevocably on 8 October 1997 when I gave birth to my son Ollie. I knew from the outset that he was " different" – a very special boy. The journey we have walked together for over 19 years has been a rollercoaster of highs, lows, challenges, frustrations, heartbreak, euphoria and success.

Ollie was diagnosed with Asperger’s and other strands of ASD at aged 9 but I didn't even tell him until he was 13. He's Ollie -  and is living proof that these children are so much more than a label and can achieve way beyond the preconceived myths and negative limitations surrounding these labels. We have kept steadfastly walking up the mountain - even when we felt broken and exhausted. Every step has been worth it because when we reached the top, the view was astonishingly beautiful.

Many people with autism have passions. Words were always Ollie's and they became his world. In gifted sets for English throughout middle school, he was literally broken when the new college he joined at aged 13 refused him even a bite at the higher English GCSE because his autism "meant he couldn't do multiple choice or infer in comprehensions". Funding I fought so hard to get for Ollie to access exams in a different format was legally spent elsewhere on those who were a "safer bet". His dreams of English at university destroyed, his future removed , it was the first time the word "disabled" was uttered in our home, by Ollie through primal sobs.

Ollie unravelled, picked up serious mental health issues and became suicidal. At this point I began massaging him. However, this was too aggressive and invasive for Ollie, so we worked together to refine and specialise it. The effects began from the first treatment. Anxiety levels dropped, the sky high stress levels lowered, deep and peaceful sleep came for the first time. The OCD became manageable. Long term Ollie began to feel able to cope and function and went from surviving - just - to thriving.

I took my method into schools and Special Educational Needs (SEN) registers everywhere - like a woman on a mission - working for free initially to prove it worked. The results were so noticeable, whole classrooms were affected. Within six months I had a flourishing business with long waiting lists. Within a year I was writing articles for Autism Eye and International Therapist. I had trained charities both here and in Belgium including MIND.
Within two years I had opened my first therapy / training centre.

Now I train professionals, schools, organisations and charities worldwide including those in America . I have written a book "Indian Head Massage for Special Needs" and I write regular articles for national and international publications and organisations including Icare4autism and, putting therapies on a proven scientific and neuropsychological level. I engage in public speaking to raise awareness for these incredible - and very able - children. I'm currently working with some inspiring doctors and a very prestigious organisation on a programme for young people with special abilities within schools which will be launched later this year.

Lifetimes ago on 8th October 1997, I could never have dreamed my boy would bring such gifts.
As for Ollie, he achieved 11 A-C GCSEs , 3 A levels and is now reading creative writing and publishing at his first choice university. For me, that's the biggest success of all.

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