- What is SI?
- About Us
The Network is inspired by and indebted to the work of Dr Jean Ayres, a ground breaking Occupational Therapist based in California, who was responsible for identifying and developing the concept which is now recognised as Sensory Integration.
The theory and application of Sensory Integration focussed on the way in which sensory processing and motor planning disorders could interfere with activities and daily living/learning, and might be involved in the treatment of young people with a range of difficulties.
Since the 1950’s, when Dr Ayres first brought these ideas to wider attention, knowledge and expertise has grown and been built on thanks to the research, teaching and experience of a wide range of professionals in the field of neuropsychology and child development, supported by the encouraging and demonstrable results amongst those participating in treatment regimes utilising Sensory Integration therapies.
In the UK, formative work was done by the Study Group on Perception in the late 1970’s, the brainchild of two Occupational Therapists from Scotland. At around the same time the Sensory Integration Association, the British Institute for Sensory Integration in the United Kingdom and the Irish Sensory Integration Association were established; each organisation with its own membership and training courses, and inevitable duplication of work. These four groups united in 1994 and founded the Sensory Integration Network UK and Ireland Limited with a “not for profit” educational structure. Membership has expanded from an initial 300 to the current level of almost 2000, and is open to Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists; as well as inviting into the membership Colleges, Libraries, other professionals, parents and carers with an interest in learning more about, and sharing their experience of, Sensory Integration.
The Network’s Courses have gained international recognition, attracting participants from overseas, and drawing pre-eminent speakers and lecturers from around the world. We benefit from ongoing collaboration with the International Coalition for Excellence in Sensory Integration.
In 2000 links were forged with Cardiff University; and there are four modular courses registered for credits upon completion at a Master’s level, and are recognised as Continuing Professional Development for therapists
We also host courses relevant to a wider group of professionals and interested parties, including teachers, nurses, parents and carers; bringing together leading practitioners in the field of Sensory Integration and encouraging links with related disciplines in Higher Education.