Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy 

Helping children and adults with SI difficulties


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  • 07 Aug 2017 15:01 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The next meetings of the Middle England SI Group will be:

    Wednesday October 11th 2017 - 1pm to 4pm at : High Grange School, Hospital Lane, Mickleover, Derby, DE3 0DR

    Tuesday 24th April 2018 – 1pm to 4pm at: Ash Green Learning Disability Service, Ashgate Road, Ashgate, Chesterfield, S42 7JE

    Thursday 18th October 2018 -1pm to 4pm at: Rivermead, Unit 1, Goods Road, Belper, DE56 1UU

    Contact: Fiona Easom

  • 06 Aug 2017 14:29 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A sensory treat for a hot day! Try Kath Smith's recipe for a Sensory Jolly Jelly Lolly!

  • 01 Aug 2017 10:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome to the August edition of EmphaSIze! Kate and I hope all of our school based readers and parents are having a fantastic summer holiday. This month we have lots of great content for you, including a new book due for release written by an author with Asperger’s Syndrome on coping with sensory reactivity. There are also some informing articles on the the role of parents and carers in supporting sensory processing difficulties. Finally a big congratulations to Vikki from Newcastle for answering our July question, we are sure the family will find your answer helpful on their holiday abroad this year.

  • 26 Jul 2017 22:10 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Huge Congratulations to Catherine Totten, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and SI Advanced Practitioner*, for being accepted to present a seminar, based upon her SI 4 case study project, at the College of Occupational Therapists Special Section Mental Health Conference (COTSS MH) later this year.

    The COTSS MH Conference, is taking place this year on 14th and 15th September in Birmingham. This year’s theme is “Mental Health Occupational Therapists – Adding Value.”

    Occupational Therapist, Catherine decided to submit her abstract to the COTSS MH conference, based on the case study she used to achieve her Advanced Practitioner status* – A Case Report of Ayres Sensory Integration of an Adult with Asperger’s Syndrome.

    Catherine was delighted to hear that she has been accepted to present a 45-minute seminar on her work.

    “I am very excited to have been chosen to present my paper on SI with an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, as I feel it has a lot to contribute to my area of practice in forensic mental health and demonstrates great outcomes in the contribution of ASI in managing challenging behaviour.”

    We wish Catherine every success in her presentation and look forward to hearing more about her experiences after the conference.

    *Catherine completed module 4 (Advanced Treatment) this year. She has received her provisional results and is currently waiting for them to be ratified by the Ulster University Board of Examiners in September 2017.

  • 26 Jul 2017 21:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following feedback from members who wanted to develop their CPD for applying SI in the neonatal unit and early intervention (up to 2 years), we are pleased to be able to offer the Sensory Babies course in our busy training timetable this year.

    The course will be facilitated by Emily Hills (BSc (Hons), Clinical Specialist Neonatal Occupational Therapist, Royal Free NHS Trust and Lindsay Hardy, Director of Clinical Services at Pace, a therapy and education centre for children.

    Both are well known to the Network as lecturers. Lindsay Hardy is also the SI Module 4 Course Lead.

    We caught up with Emily and asked her to tell us a little more about the two-day course that runs on 1st and 2nd October 2017 in London.

    Tell us a little more about how this course came about.

    This Sensory Babies course has been developed as a result of huge demand from other healthcare professionals, and indeed parents too, who want to know more about sensory development, how to recognise specific sensory needs in babies and young children and what interventions will address those needs and promote optimum development.

    Thanks to the work of a small group of pioneering neonatal OTs both in the UK and the USA there are now many more OTs working in Neonatal environments and the OT role is much more widely recognised as making an important contribution to the infant’s development and promoting and supporting the parent infant relationship. Lindsay and I, with our combined expertise in SI, neonatology, early infant relationships, and development of the EI SMART model felt we were well placed to put this course together.

    What does the course cover?

    The course aims to introduce EI-SMART an early intervention model developed for all health care professionals working with babies.

    Sensory Babies is unique in that it looks at the development and experience from the perspective of both the parent and the infant.

    On the first day we look at the development of our senses from conception to two years. The course focuses on the experience of babies born too soon or too sick and how neonatal care affects the infant’s sensory development and parent’s wellbeing. On the second day we concentrate on behavioural cues and the language of the newborn, we also explore co-regulation and self-regulation and provide an overview of the theory of attachment. We finish by looking at baby occupations through their senses, eating, sleeping and playing.”

    It’s a pretty busy couple of days but feedback so far has been really positive and we’re confident that health practitioners wanting to develop in this area will take on board a lot of useful information and tips.

    For more information about what the course covers and to book a place, please see here.

  • 26 Jul 2017 16:33 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest issue of SensorNet magazine is now available for members. Please login to our website and access it here

    Please let your friends and colleagues know that they can join the SI Network for FREE to access SensorNet magazine, our monthly EmphaSIze newsletter plus lots more resources.

    Some of the features in this edition of SensorNet edition include:

    • European Sensory Integration Congress (ESIC) round-up – We bring all the ESIC action to you – reflections, interviews and photos so you can soak up the atmosphere from Vienna for yourself.
    • Feature Interview: Elisabeth Soechting speaks to SensorNet about her ESIC experience.
    • The Big Interview: Zoe Mailloux talks to SensorNet about the EASI development.
    • SI 1 classroom based course: Participants who attended the recently revised classroom based course share their view.
    • ASI 2020 Vision: We hear about the progress being made with the ICEASI Standards for Education and training in ASI.
    • Early adopters of SI: Elizabeth Fairgrieve is honoured for her contribution to SI.
    • Profile Feature Article: Dr. Teresa May-Benson shares her expertise on ideation in Sensory Integration.
    • Lecture Notes – Find out more from the “SI Mental Health and Well-being” course.
    • SI Network out and About – Cathy Maguire, Director of Membership Services, tells us about the SI Network representation at ESIC.
    • Research updates - References and abstracts for recent articles related to sensory processing and neuroscience.
    Remember that the easy click-on links in the magazine will put you directly in touch with the editorial team and we welcome feedback and ideas for future editions. Thank you to all our contributors for this edition.

  • 21 Jul 2017 19:42 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Regional SI Group Scotland

    We are a group of mainly occupational therapists, (including Advanced SI Practitioners) and some Speech and Language Therapists meeting up to 4 times a year. Clinical areas: Paediatrics, Adult Learning Disability, Adult Mental Health, Adult Autism Services. Why not join our closed Facebook group?

    Contact: Catherine Morris

    Next meeting: 29 July 2017. 

    Hosted by: Catherine Totten.

    Address: Wood Conference Suite, Rowanbank Clinic, 133C Balornock Rd., Glasgow, G21 3UL

    Meeting times: 11.00am - 2.00pm

    If you would like to attend, please register on the SI Network Therapists Scotland Facebook page or contact Catherine Morris for more information. Please bring photographic ID for the reception staff. 

  • 16 Jul 2017 22:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you created a useful SI leaflet or developed an original SI activity / game to use in therapy sessions or with a child at home?

    Do you use a piece of standard equipment in a unique way to encourage sensory integration? If so then we want to hear from you! Share your ideas with us and the top resource / tip each month will feature in the August 2017 EmphaSIze Newsletter and you will win a £25 Amazon voucher.

    July 2017 Winner:

    We love how Louise from Suffolk utilises a table during therapy sessions. Well done Louise. You win a £25 Amazon voucher. 

    ‘Most of us therapists have access to a table in clinic, hospital, schools or client's home. I am a huge advocate for using affordable and accessible resources and educating parents in this. A table is a great tool and can be used in many ways, some of my favourites in clinic are;

    • Stick a dot-to-dot under the roof of the table, have the child lay the on floor and ask them to join the dot-to-dot.
    • Stick a picture of a leopard under the roof of table and ask the child to stick on the spots.
    • Turn the table upside-down and place a colour, number or letter on the base of each table leg. Have child stand in the middle of table and call out the colour you want them to turn to, various games can be played.
    • Put a sheet over the table and make a dark den.
    • Wrap a bungee around the chair leg to do resistance work.
    • Tie string to the chair leg and do threading in sitting, high kneeling or prone’ position.
  • 01 Jul 2017 14:33 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Welcome to the July edition of EmphaSIze. This month we have a selection of new resources and research to support your practice and exciting news from the SI Network following ESIC2017.

    Well done to Moyna and Louise for sharing their expertise, they both win a £25 Amazon voucher. If you have a tip about using a piece of standard equipment in a unique way, or an answer to this month's question, submit your suggestions here and you could also win a £25 Amazon voucher. 

    The sun has really made an appearance now, and for many therapists and parents the summer means time to spend with families. Make sure you take a look at the auditory scavenger hunt for a free activity with your loved ones or clients.

    Happy Holidays,

    Kate Bradley

    Click here to see EmphaSIze. No need to log in.

  • 30 Jun 2017 22:26 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are delighted to hear that one of our members, Nathalie Shek, Occupational Therapist, has recently won a Cwm Taf Health Trust Patient Choice award for her Ayres Sensory Integration (ASI) work with one particular family. She received her award at a staff recognition celebration event on 23 June 2017, highlighting examples of best practice within the Board. Well done Nathalie – a great testimony to the power of Ayres' Sensory Integration.

    This is what the family she worked with wrote in their nomination:

    "Our daughter is 8 years old and has significant complex needs. She is diagnosed with a number of conditions and displays traits of even more conditions. She first saw Nathalie at the age of 6 and by this time we were in, or had previous contact with the following services all attempting to identify and address her varied needs:

    • Consultant Paediatrician
    • CAMHS
    • Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences Cardiff University
    • All Wales Genetics Service
    • Education Psychology
    • Learning Support
    • Behaviour Support
    • Complex Learning Team
    • Disabled Children’s Team
    • Post Adoption Social Work team
    • Specialist Health Visitor
    • Ophthalmology
    • Audiology
    • Speech and Language Services

    Her behaviour had reached a point where it was impossible to manage and it was negatively impacting on family life.

    18 months on and at the end of her second treatment block, her rate of development is astonishing and her physical ability and subsequently her self-esteem has improved to a level unrecognisable from before. 

    Her needs remain complex and family life remains a challenge, however, of all the many interventions she has received over the years, the input she has had from Nathalie has been nothing short of life changing for her as an individual but also us as a family. It remains the only intervention so far that has given us the knowledge and insight to understand some of her behaviours alongside the practical tools and strategies we can employ to improve her quality of life. 

    Her life and ours as a family has been significantly changed for the better from the sensory processing and integration treatment she has received, and we are confident that this input will make a marked difference to her future outcomes and her ability to function in the adult world when the time comes. 

    As education professionals, we have directly witnessed the impact her treatment has had on her ability to learn and her educational outcomes. As a result, we are currently lobbying within our professional capacities to see increased awareness within the education sector of the impact sensory processing and integration issues have on children and their ability to access the curriculum. 

    We have become staunch advocates of sensory integration therapy and feel incredibly privileged to have been one of the few families to have received such treatment for our daughter. We are living proof that sensory integration therapy works and we believe it needs to be recognised accordingly as a vital mainstream service.

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