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Frequently asked questions

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My child is receiving Music Therapy at Body & Soul. What is it?

Music Therapy is the use of music interventions to address physical, emotional, behavioural and social needs of children. It also helps children achieve specific goals and is provided by a qualified music therapist at Body & Soul. Music therapists use both instrumental and vocal music strategies to bring about changes that are non-musical in nature.

In sessions, all types of music are used to address the needs of the children.

Music therapy can be designed to:

• explore personal feelings through non-threatening means

• make positive changes in mood and emotional states

• encourage healthy communication

• improve self-esteem and develop confidence through successful musical experiences

• promote wellness

• manage stress

• promote physical rehabilitation

overall to enhance a child’s quality of life

Each music therapy session is unique as it is designed for each child. Our music therapist will asses your child’s needs through their musical response. Session plans are then designed for individuals and groups – based on the child’s needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, music performance, song writing, lyric discussion and learning through music.

Music therapy helps children with complex needs to explore personal feelings through a non-threatening means; make positive changes in mood; practice problem solving; encourage healthy communication and improve self esteem and through successful musical experiences. The sensory and intellectual stimulation of music can help increase or maintain a person’s quality of life.

Children do not need to have musical ability to benefit from music therapy. No previous musical experience is required!

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What educational support does Body & Soul provide for children?

The Children’s Centre at Body & Soul is led by a qualified and very experienced teacher. As such, all activities are tailored to developmental and educational targets for each age-group.

Children aged 5-9 are able to access Lauchpad every Tuesday, which focuses on developing literacy and numeracy skills, in-keeping with national curriculum standards. Volunteers provide one-to-one support and can also assist with any homework. Children benefit from a number of programmes that promote their self-esteem and confidence, enabling them to feel better-able at approaching challenging tasks and situations at school.

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My child has special needs. What can Body & Soul do to help?

Body & Soul offers a range of therapies to address the complex and unique needs the of children who attend. Children can access music therapy, play therapy and art therapy as well as visiting the sensory room. All of these interventions are led by qualified therapists and children who may benefit will be identified in advance and parents/carers involved in the process.

These therapies address the physical, emotional, behavioural and social needs of children and can help them improve self-esteem and confidence, manage stress, explore personal feelings, improve communication and make positive changes in their lives.  Each session is unique and tailored to meet their individual needs

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My child is turning 13. Can they still attend Body & Soul?

Body & Soul’s children’s programmes are for children from the ages of 0-12 years however when children reach the age of 13, they are able to move into Teen Spirit, our group for young people aged 13-19 years.

We will work with families and children throughout this transition period to make sure it is the right time to change groups. If your child attends the BaSe group, we usually aim for a small group of children to join Teen Spirit at the same time to ease their transition.

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My child doesn’t know about HIV and how it affects them yet. What will they hear at Body & Soul?

We understand that prospect of naming HIV to your children can be a worrying one. At Body & Soul, we have many years’ experience in guiding families through this process and identifying the best ways of talking about HIV with your children for the first time.

Young children attending Body & Soul’s children’s centre do not receive any information on HIV at all. Our building is geared towards maintaining this and we ensure that your children will not come into contact with any information that discusses HIV.

To find out more about how we can support you in the process of naming HIV to your children, and the support that is available for both you and your child, please take a look at our information around talking about HIV to our children.

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My child knows about HIV. Can they still come to the children’s centre?

Yes. Although HIV is not openly discussed in the children’s centre, your child could benefit greatly by attending. Through 1:1 sessions with children or family sessions, we can help clear any misconceptions and concerns they may have, talk to them in a language they understand about the importance of confidentiality and support them in building self-esteem and confidence.

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I want to tell my child about HIV. Can Body & Soul help?

Yes.  We can help and guide you through this process and work with you to make a plan best-suited to your needs and those of your child. We understand that this process can be difficult and requires a flexible approach that incorporates the readiness and maturity level of the child, your family circumstances and other situational factors that maybe unique to your family.

Contact us to find out how we can help you.

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What does it mean to be affected by HIV?

An HIV-affected person is someone who has a close family member (such as a sibling, parent or other primary carer) who is living with HIV.

Being affected by HIV can have a negative impact on an individual’s physical, emotional and social health and can means that they are vulnerable to early carer responsibilities, dealing with death and bereavement, poverty, exploitation, discrimination.

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How does my diagnosis affect my children?

Being HIV positive doesn’t stop you being a good parent but it may mean that you have more days when you feel unwell or when you don’t have the energy to do those extras for your child, like visits to a playground or play dates with a friend.

The older they become, the more aware your child will be of those things and whilst they may not know about HIV they are likely to be aware you are not well, or get sick more than their friends’ parents.  This can be worrying and frustrating for children, particularly if they are not at an age where you feel ready to talk openly about HIV with them.  If children have those worries it can impact on their behaviour and ability to concentrate in school.

At Body & Soul we are experienced in helping children through structured programmes that teach them how to manage difficult emotions, develop coping strategies and increase confidence.  Together these build the resilience that will support children to achieve their full potential no matter how difficult or stressful their family circumstances and will also give them the tools to manage better when they do eventually find out about HIV.

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How can my child start attending Body & Soul?

You can call Body & Soul on 0207 923 6880 or email us on info@bodyandsoulcharity.org. You can refer your child yourself, or ask your doctor, nurse or clinician to call if you prefer. There is also an online form on this website that you can complete and we will get back to you.

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Who is responsible for my child when they are at Body & Soul?

The Children’s Centre at Body & Soul is registered with the official body for inspecting schools and nurseries, OFSTED. It is managed by Jane King, a qualified and experienced teacher. A number of other staff also have childcare and teaching qualifications and are qualified in first aid and paediatric first aid. All staff and volunteers are subject to an enhanced CRB check and volunteers attend regular, comprehensive training. Depending on your child’s needs and in consultation with you, they may also attend play therapy, music therapy or art therapy sessions. All practitioners are qualified, registered with the relevant bodies and CRB checked.

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