My name is Tracy and I am the founder of Sunshine Sensory. Sunshine Sensory was not something I ever envisioned in my life, but I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity and want to share my journey with you.
I began my work career working as a teaching assistant with mainstream and SEN children while studying part-time for my degree. This allowed me the opportunity to work in a wide range of settings and develop a greater understanding for what was available and the different types of support. After qualifying as a teacher, I spent over 10 years specialising in EYFS and the development of children from birth to five. I loved working as a teacher and being able to reach children through a wide range of resources and approaches.
In 2001, at one year old, my daughter was diagnosed with severe learning difficulties suddenly teaching became a lot harder and my life begin to change beyond my imagination. I spent huge amounts of time researching special needs resources, training and activities, only to find that at the time it was very limited, that had to change. So, in 2019, after a lot of soul searching, I left teaching and set up Sunshine Sensory.
My aim with Sunshine Sensory is to provide parents / carers / teachers and anyone else interested with the skills to support their child, mainstream or SEN, with the appropriate sensory experiences to allow them to reach their potential. Every child is unique and the classes I have created reflect that, there is a structure but if you child chooses to explore the resources in a way different than I had planned that is fine. We have to appreciate that each child will have different tolerances to sensory resources, some children might like the light touch of feathers, some may dislike it and that is also fine. Through the whole session I provide support, reassurance and model ways for you to interact with your child in a variety of ways. Ultimately having fun and creating that special bond with your child.
Just as the classes were getting going, I was contacted by several adult centres (SEN and care homes) asking if the sessions would be appropriate to their residents. With some adaption over the use of the stories and music we use I was able to create sessions that supported the adults. Supported by the use of a wide range of sensory materials and songs that would be familiar to them and encourage active participation in the activity.
Leaving teaching was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make but as I see the children supported meeting their sensory needs and the adults developing more confidence and understanding about the area of development it is worth it. Parents, carers and key workers have gained confidence from attending session and seeing just what they can continue to use at home on in their setting to support their child/adult’s development. This mean that although I may no longer educate in a school, I am now able to educate a wider range of adults and children, continuing to
positively impact on the lives of children/adult’s that need support.
It is amazing and I feel so privileged to be part of all these people’s lives and I want to thank everyone that has supported me in this journey so far.
I hope you come and join us on our journey and enjoy the magic that is looking at the world through a sensory perspective.