Ana Anselma is the co-founder of the Social Mind Center in Davie, Florida. She is…
Giuliana Fenwick is an author , specialist therapist , teacher , fundraiser and public speaker who refined her unique massage techniques on her own autistic son , Ollie , when he hit an extremely low period aged 13.
In spite of many social challenges , academic support – under Giuliana’s constant vigilance and intervention at his middle school – had enabled Ollie to flourish and achieve . Upon joining the huge mainstream college however and the onset of mainstream exams , Ollie disappeared under the radar and began to drown . He developed chronic and debilitating OCD as a form of coping , along with various other worrying mental health issues due to the fear, lack of understanding and support surrounding his condition .
In desperation , Giuliana began massaging Ollie late one night during one particularly terrible episode . The traditional western training Giuliana had received years previously for her diploma was far too aggressive and invasive for Ollie so together they refined and specialised it . It became much softer , more nurturing , more supportive . Fascinated by the whole neuropsychological makeup of the brain , Giuliana incorporated all of this into her techniques to work beautifully alongside the physical and emotional benefits of her massage .
So impressed was she by the incredible results, that in spite of having a badly broken foot , she spent the next six weeks pounding pavements and knocking on doors to every school and specialist academy in her area , including Ollie’s college , working for free initially just to prove the results .
Within six weeks she was being paid .
Within six months ” business ” was booming with long waiting lists and more work than she could cope with . Here was a gap in the market , a totally unique approach in an area which was so misunderstood and so poorly supported . When she registered her method with the CMA , she was told no one in the world at that date was doing anything like this . It was truly groundbreaking .
And so began Giuliana’s path of not only helping those with autism and other different abilities by developing her unique therapeutic massage , but also raising awareness , understanding and support of these conditions by educating the wider community , including teachers and professionals through her teaching, training and public speaking work .
Within 9 months her first national article appeared in Autism Eye ( Dec 2012 ) and since then her work has been featured in various national and international publications including the very prestigious International Therapist . ( Spring 2016). She also writes regularly for autism and special needs websites worldwide .
She has received awards for her work such as the Community Award where she lives in Somerset , England for her positive impact on the physical and emotional wellbeing of the students she works with . Her work has had a special mention by OFSTED , the regulatory body for schools in the UK , as part of the “innovative and outstanding” award given to the therapy team at Foxes Academy , one of the schools in which she works.
Giuliana now teaches and trains parents , teachers and professionals with regular courses , trainings and workshops . Schools now fund places for their staff to train with her – a huge endorsement of her work and its value particularly as special needs sectors are so underfunded .
She has her own training centre in England but travels world wide to do offer trainings and give lectures including for charities such as MIND and ADHD, ASD & LD Belgium .
Urged by so many to patent and franchise her therapy , Giuliana decided instead to make her work inclusive and accessible to everyone whether they are a desperate parent looking for help or a professional wanting to add to their expertise , whether they have £10 in their bank pocket or a million . The result is her book ” Indian Head Massage for Special Needs ” published by Jessica Kingsley publishing and available on Amazon .
Such is her passion and commitment for those with autism and different abilities , she engages in regular public speaking all over the world to raise the bar from awareness to true understanding and support , along with extensive fundraising for children and adults on the autism spectrum . It is her strong conviction that every child should have a voice , a chance to grow and a chance to fulfil their potential . It only takes one adult to believe in a child for their whole future to be so different . Giuliana tries to be that adult every day and with every person she touches .