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Speakers - Sensory Integration Education Autumn Conference 2018


Éadaoin Bhreathnach

Éadaoin Bhreathnach is a Consultant Occupational Therapist & Attachment Counsellor. She worked for fifteen years in the National Health Service as a clinical practitioner and in senior management. During that period she set up the first Sensory Integration Clinic in Britain and Ireland and organised a two-year Occupational Therapy programme in Videle Orphanage in Romania. Éadaoin founded the Irish Sensory Integration Association. She later collaborated with colleagues in England and Scotland to establish the Sensory Integration Network UK and Ireland.

In 1990 she set up in private practice. It specialises in the assessment and treatment of sensory processing and attachment difficulties of both children and adults. Her sensory attachment intervention (SAI) approach is both integrative and eclectic. It combines neurobehavioural analysis, attachment classification, and client centred counselling theories. SAI analyses whether behavioural difficulties are sensory based or attachment based. It focuses on regulation of arousal states to facilitate: organised behaviour; parent child engagement; and reflective functioning. Éadaoin’s SAI Centre provides enriched sensory and attachment experiences for families. It is a traditional Irish cottage with an SI playroom. It also has a secret garden with womb, mother- child, and father-child sensory attachment spaces.  Éadaoin’s SAI Model has been presented at conferences in Britain, Ireland, United States and Australia. She is the author of the Scared Gang Books that helps children to recognise their own survival and attachment patterns through the Scared Gang characters. Éadaoin is currently researching the relationship between children’s physiological patterns, sensory processing patterns, and their attachment behaviour.


 Natalie Power

Natalie Power is an occupational therapist currently working for the HSE Ireland in the area of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS). Natalie has worked in a variety of different clinical settings including Forensic Psychiatry, paediatric and adult Intellectual Disability.

Natalie is an Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner and currently under taking the final year of her Msc in Sensory Integration. Natalie has chosen to conduct a systematic review looking at the stress level of parents who have children with sensory processing difficulties as much of her work in CAMHS entails supporting young people and parents to achieve better co-regulation. Natalie is currently an E-mentor for students completing Module 1 Sensory Integration online and is a recognised teacher of the Ulster University where she teaches on the SI Module 1 classroom course.


Sue Delport

Sue Delport is an occupational therapist. Sue has worked in the clinical field for a period of 20 years as an occupational therapist in a range of settings including: specialist schools for children with cerebral palsy and specific learning difficulties, and institute for the learning disabled, general physical hospitals, and community paediatrics. This experience spanned three countries: South Africa, England and Wales. In addition she has worked and offered consultation in the private sector as a paediatric occupational therapist. In her final years in clinical work she managed a community paediatric occupational therapy department with 14 staff.

Sue joined Cardiff University as an Occupational Therapy lecturer in 2002 and continues to teach on the undergraduate BSc Hons (OT) programme as well as sessions on the PGDip (OT) and the MSc Neurorehabilitation programmes. In the past she has taught as a sessional lecturer at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and was a recognised teacher of the University of Liverpool. Sue is currently a recognised teacher of the Ulster University.


Amy Stephens

Amy is a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service (AIS), working as part of a multidisciplinary team with service users who are deaf and their families/carers, across the lifespan. She has a clinical specialism in Sensory Processing (SPD) and offers differential diagnosis and strategies to support service users and colleagues at the AIS and across the South of England. Her role at the University also includes a small amount of teaching for undergraduate Audiology students and speaking at training days for local professionals. She contributes to ongoing research projects with colleagues, and has been a long-standing and active member of both the AIS and National working parties for Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD).


Chris West

Chris West is an Occupational Therapist and works in Devon in an Adoption Support Agency. Prior to this Chris has worked in both the Local Authority and NHS fields with children with additional needs and set up services for children with sensory processing difficulties.

Chris has 25 years experience of working with children and young people with a range of needs. This includes children with special needs and children who have experienced developmental trauma and been adopted and who have sensory integration and attachment based challenges and needs. She offers therapeutic interventions to parents and children to support them to develop the art of co-regulating and self-regulating activities through the use of sensory and emotionally regulating experiences, to enhance their ability to enjoy and engage in the relational and physical world around them.  Chris is a trainer in Sensory Attachment Intervention and has delivered training in the UK and Australia.


Sarah Bell

Hello, I am Sarah Bell an NHS Paediatric Occupational Therapist employed by Hywel Dda Health Board and based in Carmarthen, Wales and have been in my current post for 12 years.  I qualified from the London School of Occupational Therapy in 1986 and as a student developed my interest in neurology, head injuries and stroke. I worked in many different settings, including mental health , a private rehabilitation clinic and stroke rehab.  In 1995 I moved from adult neurology to work with children as a specialist Social Services children's OT in West Sussex.  I had a short career break after the birth of my second daughter and in 2003 my husband Tom and I , Lucy and Grace emigrated to New Zealand. Here I worked at Dunedin Hospital in the Vera Hayward Children's Centre with the under 5’s and I was also a Developmental Visiting Therapist in the neonatal service.

It was in New Zealand that I developed my keen interest in Sensory Integration and on my return commenced the post graduate S.I. training modules and qualified as an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration in 2014.  It has been a wonderful privilege and opportunity to fully use my Sensory Integration training and be one of the treating Therapists in the SenIta research project with Cardiff University. 


Tessa Scully

Tessa is an Occupational Therapist and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She works with children who have attachment trauma and sensory processing disorder.  Together with a Local Authority team, Tessa works to support adoptive families where the impact of developmental trauma and secondary trauma are often felt in daily life. Tessa provides therapeutic programmes for children and their parents using a Sensory Attachment Intervention approach, as well as facilitating the Just Right State Programme for individual children with their families. She has also provided training for schools in developing a Just Right State approach as part of school life, to support children who have difficulties with emotional regulation.  Tessa has presented the Sensory Attachment Intervention training for professionals in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.


Emma Snowdon

Emma is an experienced, paediatric physiotherapist and an advanced Sensory Integration practitioner. She is also Bobath trained. After completing a BSc (hons) degree in Medical Sciences with Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Leeds University, she graduated from the University of Coventry with a BSc (hons) degree in Physiotherapy in 2002. She then spent many years working in the NHS in a variety of settings, specialising in Paediatrics since 2003.  Emma has been heavily involved in service development, setting up community assessment clinics, introducing outcome measures tools and developing services to ensure equity across a countywide demographic. She has worked in several special schools, mainstream schools and community settings and led various clinics including orthotics, dynamic movement orthoses, developmental coordination disorder and developmental delay. 

Emma now works solely in independent practice, predominantly working with “support after adoption” agencies, supporting children who have experienced developmental trauma. She also works directly with families and schools helping them to understand sensory integration difficulties and facilitating them to incorporate sensory strategies into the classroom or into daily life at home. She is fascinated by neuroscience, especially how the sensory and motor systems interact and passionate about using sensory integration and sensory attachment intervention principles in her everyday work.  Emma has completed the Sensory Attachment Intervention Level One training course and the ‘Just Right State’ course run by Eadaoin Bhreathnach and is certified to facilitate the Just Right State Children’s programme and Parents Programme. She has recently returned to study with Ulster University and is hoping to complete her Masters in Sensory Integration soon.


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