Participants of scosa’s Body and Mind Wellbeing Program recently celebrated completing their first semester of creative arts courses for 2017.

The program, which was founded in 2016, offers South Australians living with disabilities access to a range of creative arts activities that helps participants to express themselves and pursue their passions.

SPORTSMED·SA proudly supports the program and scosa’s ongoing commitment to developing a range of initiatives to meet the needs of people living with a broad range of physical, intellectual and neurological disabilities.

Mosaics, dance therapy and music therapy were the first semester courses, which participants thoroughly enjoyed and actively engaged.

Music therapy was a new initiative introduced and based on the results of the program, it was very successful according to scosa Manager, Marketing and Communications, Marie Ataian.

“The clinical notes collected by the registered music therapist, who facilities the course, detailed that participants who attended a number of sessions showed strong engagement and enjoyment,” she said.

“This was indicated through participation, positive body language – such as smiling and showing enthusiasm to engage in activities – and verbal responses.

“By week six, participants demonstrated that they were familiar with the activities repeated every week. Examples of their engagement including grasping and shaking shakers during a warm-up song, drumming rhythms with the group and breathing deeply during relaxation.

“Staff who worked regularly with participants were pleased and often surprised by some of the responses elicited from participants.”

One participant in particular delighted staff by overcoming their initial hesitation to participate in the music therapy sessions.

“While one of the participants movement was limited, he was able to grasp a small-handled shaker and would shake to the ‘Hippy-Shake’ with a smile on his face,” Ataian said.

“By the last week he needed no prompting and would participate with ease, choosing and grasping a shaker and moving his arm rhythmically with little support.

“He would use his whole arm to move the shaker, motivated by the energy and excitement in the room, and the encouragement of staff and the registered music therapist.”

Mosaics and dance therapy were also a big hit with participants. Scosa participants were able to express their creative side and increase their motor skills and coordination.

Scosa are currently in the process of finalising the upcoming term’s activities, which will include photography, painting and the continuation of dance therapy.

Stay tuned for more updates!