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Welcome to the Canolfan Elfed Wellbeing area of the website which provides further information regarding many of the therapies and interventions we provide as a unit.



Canolfan Elfed is fortunate to have its own onsite hydrotherapy and splash pool, which is accessed by Elfed and mainstream pupils with various degrees of disabilities and needs.

Our pool is heated to 34°C and has a full overhead hoisting system, shower and changing area with adjustable beds.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions. It is different from swimming as it involves special exercises that are carried out in warm water.The support given by the water and heat helps to relax tight muscles and joints aiding in the ease of movement for the user that leads to better mental health and wellbeing as all the senses are activated. Sound, smell, touch and sight are different in the water, helping to relieve the worry and discomfort of being in pain. 

All hydrotherapy programmes are developed by the Paediatric Physiotherapy department and are specific to the individual, 

For some pupils with autism hydrotherapy is an opportunity for them to release pent up energy which they cannot release in a classroom environment, this is conducted in a controlled and safe manner.

When possible continuity with the main theme of the Unit is made by adding splashes of colour to the pool room and water, whether it is with pictures, music or sensory umbrellas and uses them as teaching aids for literacy, numeracy and communication skills.

Interventions & Outreach


An ELSA is a specialist teaching assistant with a wealth of experience of working with children. ELSAs are trained and regularly supervised by the Educational Psychologists in your Local education authority. An ELSA is a warm and caring person who wants to help your child feel happy in school and to reach their potential educationally.  Their aim is to remove the barriers to learning and to have happy children in school and at home.

Please do talk to the ELSA in your school if you have any problems with your child.

Examples of topics covered by the ELSA:

  • social skills, 
  • emotions, 
  • bereavement, 
  • social stories and  therapeutic stories, 
  • anger management, 
  • self-esteem, 
  • counselling skills such as solution focus 
  • friendship.

SPEAKR tool: Speakr is an online tool that helps children and young people to understand how they are feeling, and articulate what’s on their mind. It helps teachers understand underlying causes of behaviour. It helps school leadership teams to identify and evidence appropriate interventions. 

DRAMA EXPRESS: uses techniques derived from ELSA and Talkabout, developed and adapted to suit our pupils in Canolfan Elfed. Drama express is unique in approach. It focuses mainly on basic emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger through role playing ‘real-life’ situations. The pupils learn how to face their feelings and learn how their feelings can affect others and over time they learn how to deal with their emotions appropriately and in a timely manner. 

Positive Relationships

Positive Relations (PR): This intervention covers seven different topics, which interlink, and are covered either sequentially, as stand-alone topics or repeated as necessary. The topics covered are Keeping Clean, Puberty, Adulting, Internet Safety, Public and private, Babies and Trust. They are delivered at many different levels to make them accessible to all pupils.

Positive Relationships began life in the ASD class as means of helping the young people understand the different experiences that could arise in their present and future lives. 

As the number of pupils grew in Canolfan Elfed so too did the issues and problems that our young people experience in the world around them. 

The advances in technology and social demands to name but a few. 

The programme over time reflects this.

We work in partnership with PC Craig, The School Community Police Officer, to develop the skills required to be safe online and in the world around them.  Along with the School nurse who who can provide specialist information around health and wellbeing.

SmiLE Therapy

SmiLE Therapy focuses on functional communication and social skills for deaf students and students with additional learning needs. It is a structured specific therapy that focuses on the ‘live’ face-to-face interaction between these students and people unfamiliar with their needs, in everyday life situations. 

SmiLE teaches students:- 

  1. To be responsible for their own communication and learning.
  2. Ways to communicate clearly face-to-face with others.
  3. To repeat information.
  4. To self-evaluate their work or with peers in a group and to be respectful.
  5. Socially appropriate behaviour e.g. greetings, to wait if another person is busy.
Therapy Dogs

Tinland Therapy Dogs attend Elfed every other week for 1 session, working with the pupils with PMLD and SLD. These sessions give the pupils a chance to interact with the dogs, experiencing the different sensory elements and learning the appropriate way to engage with an animal.

More can be found out here:

Graham started therapy work with his dogs in March 2011 with two Bernese called Kyla and Lacey, working with Pets as Therapy. His first visit was to Llys-y-bryn Care home in llanelli and shortly after started visiting The Maes Gwendraeth, Cefneithin - Special needs class. 

National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS)


BUZZ the website for deaf young people:

Look, smile, chat: Deaf awareness:

The NDCS Roadshow visits Canolfan Elfed every Spring:


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