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  • 22 Feb 2019 17:10 | Anonymous


    Pre-Congress Institute - Thessaloniki, Greece, June 20, 2019

    Blending Sensory Integration with Other Approaches

    • Erna Imperatore Blanche, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA,
    • Clare Giuffrida, PhD, OTR/L, C/NDT, FAOTA
    • Mary Hallway BSc, OTR/L, C/NDT

    Main Congress Proceedings - June 21– 22, 2019

    Congress Theme: Translating Sensory Processing into Quality of Life in Various Environments

    Hosted by: The Hellenic Scientific Society for Sensory Integration

    Venue: Makedonia Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki

    In an era where people were mostly preoccupied with the architecture of some supposedly disengaged perceptual and rational abilities, Ayres visionary mindset was set on exploring the body’s engagement with the world.

    The Sensory Integration framework is a participatory perspective on humans’ activity in daily life. The focus of this year’s congress will be on how sensory processing translates into everyday activities and Quality of Life.

    See the full programme here.

    See information for the conference exhibitors.

  • 01 Feb 2019 14:46 | Anonymous

    This month we focus on education and sensory integration with apps that can ease some challenges faced in schools by children with sensory processing difficulties, useful books, products, resources and journal articles.

    Next month we will consider transitions between childhood and adulthood with links to SI. Suggestions for content from SIE members would be welcome.

    Congratulations to Judy who answered last month’s question. Why not have a look at this month’s question and see if you can help?  Send us your suggestions and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.

    Read the February Newsletter for free here - no need to log in!

    Cathy Warne


  • 29 Jan 2019 18:31 | Anonymous


    2019 is a special year for us as it marks our Silver Jubilee! Throughout the year we’re going to be celebrating and marking this milestone in many different ways. Here are just a few of the many, exciting highlights we have planned:

    • In April 2019, SIE representatives will be travelling to AOTA Annual Conference & Expo to bring back the latest evidence from this key OT conference.
    • In June we will be sending members to contribute to the scientific programme of the European Sensory Integration Congress (ESIC) in Thessaloniki via our exciting Bursary Award Scheme.
    • In October Rosalind Rogers, Chair, and Lelanie Brewer, Head of Education Programmes, will be travelling to Hong Kong to represent SIE at the International Sensory Integration Congress (ISIC), report back on the all the latest global research updates and attend key ICEASI meetings. 
    • We will also be continuing to work on our Legacy Project during 2019: a written, oral and photographic record of our organisation’s rich history to inspire and inform current and future SI practitioners, researchers and educators. If you have any photographs, documents or stories that you’d like to share with us, please drop us a line.
    • And finally, we will be ending the year off with our own, ever-popular, Autumn Conference, which this year is themed “From Idea to Action” and will be held at Aston Conference Centre, on Saturday 16th November. Watch this space for more details! 
  • 25 Jan 2019 14:29 | Anonymous

    My name is Abbi Richards, I am a Specialist Practitioner working with young people with Profound and Complex Learning Disabilities (PCLD). I work as part of a team developing and delivering a bespoke further education programme for 15 students aged 18-24 at Weston College, in North Somerset. All learners have previously attended specialist schools.

    My interest in Sensory Integration started early in my career. I had seen the practice being used with a range of difficulties and witnessed the results first hand. I was given the opportunity, by the college, to undertake some training courses which increased my interest. I then found the modular pathway for Sensory Integration last year, and have been given the opportunity to undertake SI Module 1 online.

    Many of the students who attend the programme, have previously been assessed by a Sensory Integration Occupational Therapist (OT) or have been referred. The benefits of having taken module 1 is the ability to give meaningful accounts of potential difficulties to the OT and being able to give clinical reasoning, hypothesise and discuss potential support methods. By having a deeper understanding, I am better able to deliver and adjust Sensory Integration (SI) theory and practice within the educational environment.

    It is clear to see the benefits on a student’s ability to engage, participate and develop their skills in all areas of learning. The ultimate goal is to provide students with the knowledge of their own sensory needs and they being able to meet these in a safe and meaningful way. Leaving students further prepared for adulthood and being valued members of society, whether this means being able to complete daily living tasks, accessing the community or attending enrichment activities.

    The hope is that once the SI theory and practice is embedded into the bespoke provision, I could support students with less complex learning difficulties and their lectures on higher level courses to manage their sensory needs and provide them with the tools to self-regulate and go on to voluntary or paid employment.


  • 25 Jan 2019 14:03 | Anonymous

    When taking up my first SEN teaching role 8 years ago, little did I know how much I was going to use my Occupational Therapy training. I am now a Senior Leader at a large mainstream school in London, and a large part of my time is spent supporting parents and teaching staff to consider the behaviors a child may be presenting outside the assumption that they are being naughty or are simply a fidget.

    In my first teaching role, I was lucky enough to be supervised by an experienced paediatric OT who was part of a team that promoted SI theory and had a clinic for children. (I am a dual qualified OT/teacher). She introduced me to the Sensory Integration Network and I attended the SI Network’s 1 day introduction course around 7 years ago and became fascinated and wanted to know more. The theory seemed to explain much of what I was seeing in my daily practice and even better, offered therapeutic, evidence based, solutions.

    I booked on to the SI level 1 course and headed to Birmingham for a week to study with incredibly knowledgeable lecturers and learn more about the theory. I have been able to use this learning to support what I see day to day and all of the strategies that I know have worked in the past with other children to support putting adaptions in place in classrooms so that we have an inclusive school environment. I even lead a project about making classrooms universally sensory friendly. I am delighted that the modules are now online, as like many of you, finding the time to spend two weeks in Birmingham has proved so far impossible for me with a busy home and work life. But I am hoping that 2019 will be the year that I continue my SI journey.

    Kate Bradley

  • 21 Jan 2019 13:55 | Anonymous

    Never Stop LearningA UK working group of health and social care professional bodies has published a new set of principles for continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning.  

    The five new principles agreed by the group, which includes the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, are that CPD and Lifelong Learning should:

    1. be each person’s responsibility and be made possible and supported by your employer

    2. benefit the service users

    3. improve the quality of service delivery

    4. be balanced and relevant to each person’s area of practice or employment

    5. be recorded and show the effect on each person’s area of practice

    Lelanie Brewer, OT and Head of Education Programmes at Sensory Integration Education, said: “We welcome these new CPD principles, particularly the emphasis on improving the quality of service delivery and a focus on the ultimate benefit to patients. Our university-accredited sensory integration courses for therapists more than meet these principles as we help to create a global network of clinicians, highly skilled in assessing and treating people with sensory integration issues.”

    Download the “Compatible with Principles for continuing professional development and lifelong learning in health and social care, Prepared by: The Interprofessional CPD and Lifelong Learning UK Working Group” here.

  • 18 Jan 2019 00:22 | Anonymous


    Are you working towards becoming an accredited Ayres’ Sensory Integration Practitioner? If you’ve already completed the first module (SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience), you’re now eligible to move on to online SI Module 2: Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment.

    There are still some places left for the March cohort but registration ends on 25 February 2019 so you’ll need to hurry if you don’t want to miss out:

    (02N04) Online SI Module 2 Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment: 25 March 2019

    SI Module 2 focuses on giving you the tools and knowledge to assess using the Ayres’ Sensory Integration framework. You will explore the patterns of sensory integration dysfunction, sensory integration models and the principles and practice of assessment. You will develop clinical reasoning skills and the ability to synthesise assessment information as relevant to sensory integration. By the end of the module, you will be able to plan an intervention from synthesising case history and assessment data.

    Remember that every module of our practitioner pathway, leading right up to an MSc Degree in SI, is accredited by the internationally-renowned Ulster University. Every CPD-certified module carries transferable, real academic credits and the qualifications are recognised internationally. As a member of ICE-ASI, the Sensory Integration Education SI Modules already exceed the forthcoming international standards for SI practitioners. Enrol today.

    Wondering how this module fits into your pathway to practice as an accredited SI Practitioner? See our ebrochure on Sensory Integration Practitioner Training that explains it all.

    Sensory Integration Education Team

    PS. Remember that Gold and Silver Members receive a 25% discount on course prices. Plus, if you or your employer prefer to buy a bundle of modules, there’s a further 10% discount on top of that.

    PPS. Here’s what previous students have said about this course:

    Anna Koppenhout, Therapist: “I found the online teaching excellent with the high standard of visuals and case examples and useful video material.... The price made it more accessible without the costs of travel and accommodation or missing too much time from work as I am self-employed.”

    Vanessa Taylor, Therapist: “I would highly recommend it. I would specifically recommend that you be as active as possible, do all the recommended tasks, post these on the forum, review others comments and try to engage in discussions with others as it really adds to your reasoning ability.”

    SI Module 2 Student, Therapist: “You will be closely supported and encouraged whenever you ask for help, you my feel - as I do - that your approach to assessment, your view on ASI as forming a holistic approach and your ability to communicate with clients has been revolutionised. It’s demanding but transformative to complete this module… The standard of presentation materials was excellent.”


  • 15 Jan 2019 14:31 | Anonymous

    The European Sensory Integration Congress (ESIC) has extended the deadline for its call for papers to 31 January 2019.

    Remember that we are making £500 bursary awards available for students who have been or who are enrolled on the Ulster University Masters Module in Sensory Integration in the academic year of 2017/18 and/or 2018/19 and who have their abstracts accepted by the ESIC 2019 Scientific Committee.

    Successful students should contact support@sensoryintegration.org.uk to apply for the bursary.


  • 01 Jan 2019 11:49 | Anonymous

    We wish a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all our readers.

    Recent editions of EmphaSIze have focused on Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy in line with national and international professional ‘days’. This month, we celebrate Speech and Language Therapy and Sensory Integration.

    We welcome content suggestions for a forthcoming Education edition: what books, apps, products, social media and contemporary journal articles can you recommend, that have not been recently featured in EmphaSIze?

    Congratulations to Lucy who answered last month’s question. Why not have a look at this month’s question and see if you can help? Send us your suggestions and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.

    EmphaSIze is free to read here - no need to login.



  • 21 Dec 2018 12:37 | Anonymous

    As a speech and language therapist, SI intervention is not our traditional method of therapy to elicit improved language skills or attention for interaction; however, my case study from my recent Module 4 course showed gains in language and interactional skills. I had embarked on a steep learning curve in September 2014, heading into Module 1 (classroom) with terms like reference list, literature search, neuroscience, etc. freaking me out somewhat!

    I coped, and completed SI Module 2/3 (classroom) then SI Module 5 and SI Module 6 (online) prior to SI Module 4 (classroom).

    Beginning SI 4 in Sept ‘17 was the push I needed to embark on therapy. I was very fortunate to have an OT colleague, Lisa, within the same directorate, who had completed this module a year before me. We worked together requisitioning specific equipment and identifying a clinic space locally. It has suitably safe adult-sized space where we can encourage people’s intrinsic motivation to play, explore and experiment; and our service users can feel success from the way we as skilled therapists can scaffold and support them in their sessions. Our clinic room has more equipment than before we are close to getting suspension points fixed into the ceiling which will increase our sensory options and enable us to provide ASI with adherence to the Fidelity measure.

    Using our energy and enthusiasm in this part of Scotland – the launch of a local network for therapists and other professionals interested in sensory processing and integration seemed the obvious next step. We launched the network in April 2018 sharing our hour-long case study presentations and had some discussion around the use of specific equipment to support emotional self-regulation. Our presentations created much excitement and interest and therapists appeared hungry for more. There was overwhelming support for meeting 2-3 times a year to explore different aspects of sensory processing and integration. Our second network half-day took place in November, again well supported.

    My plan going forward involves supporting the local network; signing up to do my Masters project in the coming academic year; applying to publish my recent article I have written as a single case study, while doing my regular day job of assessing, diagnosing and treating the referrals who come in for communication and dysphagia support. My proposal is for a qualitative study on gaining caregiver perceptions of the impact of this type of therapy on individuals’ interactions, reductions in challenging behaviours, improved social communication and increased positive time spent with their communication partners. The outcomes I seek are communication and social outcomes, measuring changes that caregivers can notice. Clinical impact is more than a number on an assessment scale; caregivers need to see functional change.

    Judy Goodfellow

    Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

    Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

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