Within Issue 103

Welcome to the Winter 2022 journal. Firstly, we want to thank all the contributors to this general edition. It is always very exciting waiting to see what articles arrive for our journals without a set theme. A general edition allows us to understand the reality of what is of current importance for readers – the latest, pressing topics, what’s new or helping push the boundaries in the real lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and everyone involved in their lives.

Contributions to this issue of PMLD LINK continue to demonstrate the enthusiasm and passion to share innovative practice, thinking and relevant research. It keeps the focus firmly centred on what is important, the people with profound and multiple learning disabilities themselves. Although this is a collection of articles with no particular theme, you’ll quickly recognise there are common threads that overlap and interweave items.  We explore the sheer joy music can bring – but sometimes that happens in quite unexpected contexts, where ‘activity boundaries’ are blurred. Music can enrich the lives of people with PMLD in many ways and their music can be celebrated.  The Hidden Word Project describes how it allows people with PMLD to immerse themselves in different sound worlds and how music engages them to be creative artists. Music also has a valued place in therapeutic interventions promoting relaxation, communication and wellbeing. The joy and confidence of a whole-body experience is described when music is used within hydrotherapy by Liquid Vibrations.  Want to know what happens when music is used to accompany rebound therapy? That’s included here too!

The many benefits of rebound therapy are discussed in this issue, but we hear from some practitioners who are being extra creative -in one article we hear that Staffordshire County Wide Specialist Opportunities Service use airbeds – yes, lilos! What a versatile and affordable way to provide this activity. Louise Molineux goes on to tell us how they valuably incorporate storytelling within their airbed rebound sessions and shares an example, to try ourselves. The importance of stories continues elsewhere in this issue, with articles about the significant role they can play in day to day lives. Lauran Doak discusses the use of Pictello, a story telling app and how it can be used to evoke memories and make connections. Nina Martinez reflects on her own storytelling experiences with that of her newer role, as a funeral celebrant, to help her to make accessible end of life celebrations. Naomi Hewardine shares how a sensory story enabled her group of college students to access the LBTQ+ TV show, Heartstoppers.

Making sure people with profound and multiple learning disabilities have a voice and are heard, is another common topic for PMLD LINK – and this edition is no different.  In several articles passionate writers and practitioners describe communication beyond linguistic codes. Innovative ideas such as Sheridan Forster’s, Hanging Out Café, where the focus is on inclusivity and interaction takes place in a relaxed atmosphere. Another article explores how we can reflect on the impact of Intensive Interaction and the challenge of ‘measurement’, in turn helping us to reflect of the importance of how, and which, data we collect. We pose other, thought-provoking questions for readers, including the ethics around including people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in research or in them having a public or online presence.

As always, we try to bring you the latest relevant news, including some updates on Changing Places toilets across the four nations of the UK. All our regular features follow on – reviews, useful publications and resources and our information about future events and courses.

It has been a pleasure for our volunteer editors to create this Winter journal and we really hope you enjoy it.

If you feel inspired to contribute to future journals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find out in this issue, what’s planned for Spring 2023 on page 48 or online: https://www.pmldlink.org.uk/the-journal/future-focus/

Guest Editors: Wendy Newby, Michael Fullerton, Maureen Phillips and Annie Fergusson