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 News and Updates

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  • 15 Sep 2020 16:19 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Rachael Daniels, an Advanced Specialist Occupational Therapist with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, talked to us back in 2016* about applying an SI approach to her work with older adults.

    What was your introduction to SI?

    “Twenty-one years ago, one of my children (aged 4) was diagnosed with dyspraxia, then with sensory processing challenges when he was 10. I was a young mum trying to understand the challenges he was facing and our OT gave me a book called ‘The out-of-sync child’, which helped the family understand him at a new level. It was revolutionary.”

    How did SI become part of your work with older adults with learning disabilities?

    “Prior to becoming an occupational therapist (OT), I had 15 years’ experience working in mental health, with older adults, young people, adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. As my understanding of sensory processing developed, I began viewing my professional work differently. My newly developing ‘sensory goggles’ gave me another perspective on the challenges diverse populations experience. This motivated me to take it forward within my new adult learning disability OT role. I presented a service plan to my manager and began my SI training in 2006, becoming an Advanced Practitioner in 2012.

    “I see Ayres SI and SI approaches as valuable parts of my toolkit. The success of SI in the service I work in, has been humbling but sometimes I remind people we’re an OT service not a SI service. I’m passionate about remaining true to OT; identifying occupational participation strengths and challenges and treatment goals based on this. In our small service, we work to a tight priority matrix, resulting in the majority of our work using Ayres SI and SI approaches with those who have highly complex needs, which includes self injurious and challenging behaviour. We also find SI approaches valuable in the work undertaken with older adults attending our memory services. Increasingly we work with young adults coming to our service with a dual diagnosis of learning disability, dyspraxia and mental health needs.”

    What were initial reactions when you started practising SI therapy and have responses changed during your career?

    “Initially, there was scepticism and questions from peers about whether there was an evidence base. Levels of understanding tend to fluctuate so I need to be ready to explain SI practice and research to consultants, Allied Health Professionals, parents or carers and service users, in the most appropriate ways. Care providers initially thought SI was about fluffy stuff and sensory rooms. Once they started observing outcomes related to changes in engagement, participation and reduction in maladaptive behaviours, with service users and staff having fun they came on board quickly. I feel the key to having successful outcomes is to educate and train staff to use effective and appropriate sensory interventions, enabling them to recognise those small adaptive responses. This in turn assists with analysing an individual’s sensory processing needs.

    “The service has developed from carrying a few SI resources in car boots to working in a bespoke SI clinic, designed for adults and wheelchair users. The trust has been very interested and supportive in our developing work. We’ve had board members visit the clinic and I was invited to present at the Trust Recognition Awards.

    “SIT is now a recognised model of practice within ALD, Asperger’s, the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit and some areas of community mental health, to include some high-profile cases where SI approaches have been successful in reducing restraint. Older adult community and the in-patient unit is in development with two OTs attending the training last year. We hold SI peer supervision meetings, where there is the opportunity for non-SI trained OTs to bring cases we can support them with.

    “We’ve also received Trust Recognition Awards for our work, but we face similar challenges to other services, such as SI training costs and movement of staff, meaning loss of expertise. As a service we have to manage our business plan, together with the expectations of our many stakeholders. A creative approach towards development is essential in today’s financial climate of public services.

    What is the most positive aspect of SI in your work?

    “The people I work with and the changes to their lives, particularly when SI enables me to reach people with complex needs. One person had been self-injuring for years; she was blind in one eye due to a detached retina. After seven weeks of SI therapy at the clinic, staff training, changes made to her environment and implementation of sensory integration activities along with a personalised SI diet in place, she has now stopped self-injuring. Carers report this has been life changing for her and she is likely to keep the sight of her good eye. She is so much happier and the staff approach has significantly changed for the better.

    “Presenting the care pathway we have developed in Somerset at ESIC 2015 was a very proud moment. It encompassed all the service developments, to which we had a wonderful response including from Diane Parham.”

    How does SI support older adults within your service?

    “Within Adult Learning Disability services, there’s a high incidence of dementia for adults with Down’s Syndrome. I also offer consultancy to our older inpatient units and to the community services. We find SI approaches valuable for challenges with personal care, to include changes to vestibular processing affecting hoisting and mobilising. It can help with calming and self-soothe strategies, especially for individuals experiencing distress and agitation, including pacing.”

    You work with a physiotherapy technician, can you explain how this improves outcomes for service users?

    “Joint work with physiotherapy developed when I started receiving referrals for adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. Carol Minty, the Learning Disability physiotherapy technician, has been working with me from the onset and her work has been invaluable ensuring safe practice in regard to positioning. Carol is highly skilled and taught me how to work hands-on with individuals. SI therapy with this population begins with passive movement and touch, building towards that all exciting moment of stepping into Ayres SI as that adaptive response is elicited and starts the SI communication and scaffolding.”

    How does the physiotherapy role in SI differ from an OT role in SI?

    “It’s a complementary role rather than a different one. We know when to step in and when to step out, like a dance. The choices we make in terms of the work we do come naturally. Carol is very intuitive to people’s needs.”

    You’ve completed your MSc in Sensory Integration, what were the main findings in your dissertation?

    “To complete my MSc studies, I carried out a systematic review of the literature considering Ayres SI as an Occupational Therapy Intervention for Maladaptive Behaviours. Findings suggested that using Ayres SI, in the treatment of maladaptive behaviours may increase independence, reduce carer need and improve occupational participation. The findings demonstrate positive outcomes in regard to increased occupational participation, which was positive to demonstrate how OTs can use their core skills to plan outcomes of Ayres SI therapy.”

    For therapists working with older adults, wanting to use an SI frame of reference, how could they start?

    “The Pool Activity Level for sensory aspects is a good starting point. For people with profound difficulties, the STEP model looks systematically and holistically at sensory processing needs. The combination of PAL and AMPs, with an SI hat on, can be useful in terms of unpicking the challenges and engagement at the right level.”

    How did you go about developing the new clinic?

    “The development process was terrifying at times. We needed to consider the structural elements of the Fidelity Measure and adapt parts of it to meet the varying needs of our service users to include those who had significant ASD needs and those who are not ambulant.

    “We gained valuable input from other services with clinics about what had worked well for them. We needed to have space and sufficient height for adults to move about, and to accommodate suspended equipment, which was suitable for adult weight. We’ve created a space that can be adapted to individual needs. Safety for service users, staff and ourselves have also played a role in choice and access to equipment, having storage directly off the room is invaluable when you need to calm the environment down quickly to accommodate increasing arousal levels.”

    *This article was first published in SensorNet 48 : November 2016 ISSN: 2048-1357.

    If you work with older adults and would like to learn more about introducing an SI approach, we host regular live, online training days on Applying SI Therapy Principles with Older Adults

  • 09 Sep 2020 11:28 | SIE News (Administrator)

    For many of us, our jobs and roles as therapists have changed dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been embracing the changes as best we can to ensure that we can still reach our clients and families. In the latest edition of our magazine SensorNet, we’ve gathered nine stories, (from a range of settings), on how therapists are adapting their sensory integration practices in response to the pandemic restrictions.

    To read the full suite of nine articles, see SensorNet issue 56 August 2020 which is available free for SIE members (and you can join for free as a Bronze member today). Here’s a taster of the articles:

    Adapting Practice During a Global Pandemic: How Can We Do That?

    Amanda Howard, MSc BSc Dip.OT., from Therapy Foundations for Education tells us how their practice has adapted during the course of the pandemic and how they are still able to meet the needs of children and families who access their services. Therapy Foundations is a service that provides occupational therapy and educational support to enable children to become more confident and successful with skills they need to help them play better, perform better at home and school, and to communicate and develop social skills.

    “The response to the current situation varies amongst those with whom we work with. Some children with autism appear to benefit from being at home and are more regulated. Telehealth has enabled us to support parents in progressing their development. However, other children who need and rely on routine are very dysregulated. For these children, we have returned to floor work especially rhythmic movements, grounding strategies and establishing routines to help them regulate and feel safe.”

    Adapting Practice During a Global Pandemic: How Can We use SI Informed Practice?

    Mary Read, Occupational Therapist and Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration, from TakePart Occupational Therapy, shares her thoughts and experiences of moving forward and adapting her practice in a time of crisis and uncertainty.

    “I felt more encouraged once I decided to stop myself ‘leading the therapy’ online but rather to support the parents regularly in their ideas of sensory rich activity and regulation within their own home settings. I have seen several parent’s own confidence and sense of agency increase greatly as they are facilitating and seeing the progress their own child is making.”

    Adapting Practice During a Global Pandemic: Learning Disability Service

    Fiona Taylor, Occupational Therapy Professional Lead of the Specialist Learning Disability Service at Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust, shares how both herself and her team have been adapting their service during this global pandemic.

    “A key observation we made is that individuals with some sensory differences which do not generally affect day to day functioning, have suddenly found their thresholds considerably lowered due to anxiety and lack of routine.”

    COVID-19 - A Time of Change and Adaptability

    Katy Hands, senior paediatric occupational therapist from the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, tells us how she has been adapting to the changes which the COVID-19 restrictions have brought to clinical practice.

    “By providing the workshop in a live virtual format, as opposed to filming and sending a link, this allowed for valuable clinical discussion with families where questions often arose around the most effective ways to carry out strategies whilst at home.”

    Adapting Practice During a Global Pandemic: A Specialist School

    Kate Broughton is an Occupational Therapist and SI Practitioner (PGCert in SI) working as part of a commissioned health professional team at a specialist school in Norfolk.

    “I have devised bespoke sensorimotor programmes for children to complete within their home environment. These programmes have been presented both visually (by using photographs of myself completing the activities) and with written instructions of how to complete the activity. Most families have received their child’s programme as a laminated, hard copy document for ease of access.”

    Adapting Practice During a Global Pandemic: Children’s Therapy Practice

    “Live & Love It” is a husband and wife founded children’s therapy practice. The service is based at the Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration Studio in Horsham where they support young people aged 0-19 to Live Life and Love It! Clients do not require a diagnosis to access services though they do see a high number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, dyspraxia, sensory processing difficulties, down syndrome, genetic disorders and developmental trauma. Ashleigh Dick, Director, Paediatric Occupational Therapist and Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner explains how they have been adapting their practice and meeting their clients’ sensory integration needs during this challenging time.

    “[Play] comes naturally to some parents, but for others the prospect of creating novel play opportunities [during lockdown] was daunting. For these families, we provided play programmes founded in ASI theory; parents sent photos of their play equipment and the therapist provided activity themes and suggestions for each item.”

    Adapting Sensory Integration Practice During a Global Pandemic: An International Perspective

    We welcome back Mahek Uttamchandani, Neonatal and Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Director of therapy services in the Stepping Stones Paediatric Therapy Centre, in Mumbai India. Mahek kindly shared about her role within a neonatal unit in our previous edition of SensorNet and now we hear how she has adapted and changed her service delivery in light of COVID-19.

    “Preparing to conduct the ASI sessions virtually requires redefining the structural therapeutic environment and creatively utilizing available space in the client’s home or immediate community.”

    “I like to think the following mantra is very apt as we move forward through this new normal: 'Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can'.”

    Pandemic Challenges in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

    Jacci Siebert is an Occupational Therapist (OT) of 26 years having graduated in 1994 from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. After 5 years working in a variety of settings in South Africa and the United States, she moved to the UK where she has worked in paediatric settings, community, education and private practice and eventually specialising in sensory processing and Autism Spectrum Condition in a special school setting.

    “We have had some ideas about how we might provide further coaching for the affected babies and their parents covering topics such as ‘Serve and Return’ responsiveness, ‘Goodness of Fit’ reciprocity and co-regulation, however this is still very much in its infancy and at this stage we are very much going baby by baby.”

    Adapting Practice During a Global Pandemic: The SenSI Clinic

    Moira Veira, Specialist Occupational Therapist at SenSI Treatment in Norwich tells us about the practical implications, which the new COVID-19 restrictions have brought to their clinical practice. This demonstrates the creativity, adaptability and resourcefulness of how this practice has responded in a time of crisis.

    “COVID-19 has placed more focus on parents delivering home based sensory sessions, using the equipment and garden spaces available to them, and as a result, we are seeing much more regulated children (and parents).”

    Thank you to all our contributors!

    To read the full suite of nine articles, see SensorNet issue 56 August 2020 which is available free for SIE members (and you can join for free as a Bronze member today).

  • 19 Aug 2020 13:18 | SIE News (Administrator)

    By Meg Faure, OT and author of parenting books including Baby Sense, Sleep Sense, Feeding Sense and Weaning Sense.  Meg is hosting three online courses for us, aimed at therapists and psychologists, on infant sense integration training: see here.

    Parenting comes with heavy responsibilities and one responsibility we take very seriously as parents is that of ensuring that our baby develops his maximum potential. The question is how can we best enhance our baby’s development?

    In recent years it has become accepted wisdom that a certain amount of stimulation is needed to optimise a babies’ development. The reason is an interesting one. A baby is actually born with all the necessary brain cells for all areas of development. In order to make sense of the world, the baby’s brain must make connections between these brain cells. It is sensory input or stimulation from the environment that assists in the formation of connections between brain cells, thereby developing intelligence and coordination. If, however, a brain cell is never used it will eventually disappear. For instance if a baby never hears a musical instrument being played he will eventually loose the brain cells that could contribute to musical brilliance. It truly is a case of ‘use it or loose it’.

    This information is enough to send any parent into a frenzy of stimulate, stimulate, stimulate! But is the case of ‘the more the better’ really true in this instance? The answer is no! If a baby’s immature brain is subjected to an overload of stimulation it reacts by becoming over whelmed and over stimulated. In this state the brain cannot use all the well intentioned input. For instance, a 6 month old who becomes over stimulated during the course of a moms and babies stimulation group, will not benefit at all from the stimulating activities.

    We need to have a balanced view of stimulation. This means that we do not avoid over stimulation at all costs and do nothing for our children. But rather that we modulate stimulation in order to enhance development. We do this through an enriched but not over stimulating environment and routine.

    We can use the following principles to ensure that we provide an optimal environment for development and learning:

    • Timing is of the essence when it comes to stimulation.
      • Do not stimulate a tired or irritable baby, rather use calming input to help him settle down for sleep.
      • Introduce games, toys and activities at times when he is alert but calm so he can benefit maximally from the experience.
      • Rather than planning your day around stimulation activities, incorporate development-enhancing activities into your routine.
      • Do not over-schedule your child, taking him from one stimulation activity to the next and don’t schedule classes at sleep time.
    • Watch for signs of over stimulation and do not stimulate him at that time. It is better to remove him from the stimulation or environment in order to avoid further stress.
    • Do not overwhelm your baby with an array of bright, state-of-the-art toys.
      • Two to three toys on the play mat will encourage meaningful play instead of overwhelming your baby.
      • Babies often respond best to the most simple of everyday objects – like a box or spoon.
    • Be sure to allow your baby just to play with no pressure to achieve a developmental goal.

    The key to a contented baby who benefits maximally from his/her world is to modulate the stimulation he/she receives.

    Republished with kind permission from Meg Faure:  www.megfaure.com.

    Find out more about the courses that Meg is hosting for us on infant sense integration training here.

  • 16 Aug 2020 21:51 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Sensory Integration Education have been asked by Samantha Armitage, Occupational Therapist, to publicise this Children's Therapy Research Trials Questionnaire  for parents and therapists: 

    "We are interested in parents’ and therapists’ views about taking part in a trial of therapy treatments for children. A trial is a research project that compares two or more treatments and evaluates how effective the treatments are.

    Trials give us information about effective treatments for improving children’s health. We want to find out what parents and therapists think about the different ways they can take part in a trial and, considering the different ways, willingness to take part. 

    You are invited to complete a questionnaire about willingness to take part in a trial. The information you give will inform a future trial of self-care treatments for children with disabilities.  Participation is completely voluntary. You can find out more and complete the questionnaire here:


    Please feel free to forward the link to anyone who might be interested. If you have any questions, please contact samarmitage@nhs.net

    This study has received ethical approval from the North West - Greater Manchester West Research Ethics Committee and the Health Research Authority (Ref: 19/NW/0521)"

  • 30 Jul 2020 19:57 | SIE News (Administrator)

    UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality 2020* Sheffield Hallam University is Sensory Integration Education’s new higher education validating partner

    Sensory Integration Education is delighted to announce that its world-first MSc pathway in Sensory Integration is now validated by Sheffield Hallam University, one of the largest allied health professions education providers in the UK.

    Following a rigorous assessment of Sensory Integration Education’s (SIE) courses, teaching, resources, student experience, quality assurance procedures, staff expertise and student support provision, the online PGCert, PGDIp and MSc in Sensory Integration training pathway will be accredited by Sheffield Hallam University (Hallam) from September 2020 onwards.

    SIE has a proven twenty-year track record of providing UK university-accredited postgraduate education in sensory integration. The entire MSc pathway is now available via online learning, supplemented by clinical hours experience and supported by an individual eMentor.

    Dr Sylvia Taylor-Goh, Director of Education Strategy and Innovation, SIE said:

    “This new partnership with Sheffield Hallam University assures the continuous innovation of our postgraduate education programmes for the global community of therapists wishing to qualify as SI Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners and for the myriad of professionals who desire to learn about SI for their continuing professional development. We’re thrilled that our students will have access to the impressive online learning and student support facilities at Hallam, as well as excited ourselves to begin working with their College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences to further develop educational programmes and research in sensory integration.”

    Sheffield Hallam University is UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality 2020*; in the top 5 modern universities for research that is rated internationally excellent or world leading**; and is ranked fifth in the country for satisfaction with learning resources***.

    Dr Toni Schwarz, Dean of College of Health Wellbeing and Life Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University said:

    “We are delighted to be partnering with Sensory Integration Education to develop research, post graduate programmes and to explore other opportunities. The College of Health Wellbeing and Life Sciences as one of the largest providers of Health and Social Care education in the UK has a proven track record in providing high quality online and distance learning provision to both pre-registration students and experienced practitioners . Sensory Integration Education also has an established track record in providing world class training and developing advanced practitioners. We look forward to working with like-minded professionals to further develop educational programmes and research in sensory integration.”

    Enquiries can be directed to support@sensoryintegration.org.uk

    * The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

    ** REF 2014

    *** National Student Survey 2018

  • 27 Jul 2020 13:23 | SIE News (Administrator)

    What is Sensory Integration?

    Sensory integration (or sensory processing) is the theory of how the brain interprets the sensory information it receives, compares it to other information coming in, as well as to information stored in the memory, and then uses all of this information to help an individual respond to their environment. Sensory integration is vital in everything that we do.

    Sensory Integration Difficulties

    Difficulties with receiving and processing sensory information from one’s body and environment could relate to difficulties at school or using one’s body to engage in everyday life. Sensory integration difficulties (sometimes referred to as sensory processing difficulties or sensory processing disorder) can occur in combination with other diagnoses including: Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Attention Deficit, Learning Disabilities, Developmental Coordination Disorder and Regulatory Disorder.

    Our understanding of sensory integration was initially developed in the late 60s and 70s by Dr Jean Ayres, an occupational therapist and psychologist with an understanding of neuroscience, who developed the theory and practice of Ayres’ Sensory Integration.

    Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy®

    Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy® is a specialised treatment approach which meets the criteria for an evidence-based practice for children with ASD (1). Atypical sensory reactivity can significantly affect adaptive behaviours and everyday functioning such as sleep (2), play (3) and family life (4). When used in suitably equipped settings (5) by therapists with a postgraduate qualification in sensory integration, it can improve and increase:

    functional skills, independence, social participation and educational attainment of children with ASD

    adaptive responses to environmental challenges where there are atypical sensory responses (6) (7) (8) (9). This can mean a reduction in challenging behaviours for some children.

    Sensory integration therapy should only be carried out by a qualified SI Practitioner: this is a qualified occupational therapist, speech and language therapist or physiotherapist who has undertaken additional, rigorous postgraduate training in SI. This training involves developing a detailed understanding of the neuroscience and evidence base underpinning sensory integration as well as developing expertise in assessing and providing intervention for people with sensory integration problems.

    Using Sensory Integration Therapy with ASD: A Case Study: Leo


    Stock image: not actual case subject.

    By the age of 11, Leo lived in his own little world. A once caring child, Leo had become aggressive and sensitive to noise, and he demanded a very rigid routine. He was diagnosed with an intellectual disability and autism. As a teenager, Leo displayed extremely challenging behaviour, and:

    Couldn’t cope with the journey to school

    Had frequent and uncontrollable meltdowns

    Threw furniture around the classroom and at other pupils and staff

    Made little progress in learning

    Could not be managed at home.

    His mother described every day as ‘a bad day’.

    A long-term out of area residential placement (circa £180k pa) was being considered for Leo’s and others safety.

    Introducing Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy®

    Before the placement, Leo was identified as having significant sensory integration challenges. He received a comprehensive assessment and weekly term-time Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy® from an Occupational Therapist (51 x 1-hour sessions over 15 months).


    Stock image: not actual case subject.

    Leo has made demonstrable and significant functional gains. He:

    Can walk, run and climb stairs

    Is still at home where he now helps with chores

    Is engaged with learning and attending a local further education college

    Is enjoying learning how to manage money

    Attends karate classes with his older brother

    Mum now describes Leo as having ‘nothing but good days’.

    Find out about training as a Sensory Integration Practitioner here.

    Find a qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner here.


    (1) According to The National Professional Development Centre on ASD; The Council for Exceptional Children Guidelines for Identifying Evidence Based Practices in Special Education; and the US Preventive Services Task Force Guidelines for Evidence Reviews.

    (2) Reynolds S, Lane S & Thacker L, (2011), Sensory Processing, Physiological Stress, And Sleep Behaviours In Children With And Without Autism Spectrum Disorders, Occupational Therapy Journal of Research: Occupation, Participation and Health, vol 32, 1 p246-257.

    (3) Bodison S, (2015), Developmental Dyspraxia And The Play Skills Of Children With Autism, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol 69, 5 p6.

    (4) Bagby M S, Dickie V A & Baranek G T, (2009), How Sensory Experiences Of Children With And Without Autism Affect Family Occupations, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol 66, 1 p78-86.

    (5)Parham ID, Roley, SS, May-Benson TA, et al, (2011), Development Of A Fidelity Measure For Research On The Effectiveness Of The Ayres Sensory Integration Intervention, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol 65, 2 p133-42.

    (6) Pfeiffer B A, (2011), Effectiveness Of Sensory Integration Interventions In Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorders; A Pilot Study, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol 65, 1 p76-85.

    (7) Schaaf R C, Benevides T, Mailoux Z, et al, (2013), An Intervention For Sensory Difficulties In Children With Autism: A Randomized Trial, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol 44, 7 p1493-1506.

    (8) Case-Smith J, Weaver L L & Fristad M A, (2014), A Systematic Review Of Sensory Processing Interventions For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, University of York, Centre for Research and Dissemination (Pubmed).

    (9) Koenig K P & Rudney S G, (2010), Performance Challenges For Children And Adolescents With Difficulty Processing And Integration Sensory Information: A Systematic Review, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol 64, p430-442.

  • 17 Jul 2020 11:07 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Dr Jean Ayres, the Pioneer of Sensory Integration Theory and Therapy Would Have Been 100 Today!

    18 July 2020: Today marks the centenary of sensory integration founder Dr Jean Ayres’ birth. To celebrate, Sensory Integration Education is giving away 100 courses to the first people to sign up to the following entry-level courses.

    Wow! All the free course codes in honour of Jean Ayres' centenary have now been used but we are still running our special offer prices on these two courses..

    Introduction to Sensory Integration Difficulties Online Course £10


    Understanding Sensory Processing and Integration for Parents and Carers £5

    Jean Ayres, a US occupational therapist and psychologist with a strong understanding of neuroscience, initially developed the theory of sensory integration in the late 60s and 70s. Jean Ayres was interested in explaining how difficulties with receiving and processing sensory information from one’s body and environment could relate to difficulties at school or using one’s body to engage in everyday life. A prolific and published researcher, Jean received many awards during her lifetime and since her death in 1988. Throughout her career, she continued to practice sensory integration therapy in her clinic benefiting hundreds of children and their families, as well as the many therapists whom she mentored. 

    We have chosen to give away 100 courses in honour of Jean Ayre’s 100th birthday as a fitting tribute to this inspirational scientist and therapist. This giveaway forms part of our wider Legacy Project: a written, oral and photographic record of our organisation’s rich history to inspire and inform current and future SI practitioners, researchers and educators.  

    In the run up to Jean Ayres’ 100th birthday we have been publishing quotes by and about Jean and her life’s work on our social media channels: you can see the full suite of artwork here. https://www.sensoryintegration.org.uk/News/9107852

  • 17 Jul 2020 10:33 | SIE News (Administrator)

    In the run up to Jean Ayres’ 100th birthday, we have been publishing quotes by and about Jean and her life’s work on our social media channels: you can see the full suite of artwork below...

  • 15 Jul 2020 17:01 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Over 25 years, Sensory Integration Education has grown a thriving community of support for all interested in learning more about sensory integration (SI) and sensory processing. As well as providing world-class training in SI, we award research grants to support the development of evidence and best practice relating to sensory integration across the lifespan.

    Our support compromises financial awards as well as support in recruiting research participants and in disseminating your finished research. We aim to build the skills of early career researchers who are working to contribute to the national and international evidence base for SI.

    Research Themes

    Sensory Integration Education research grants are designed to support the development of evidence relating to Sensory Integration across the Lifespan: The Art and Science. All grant applications must demonstrate contribution to one or more of the following key research themes:

    • Evidence From Within the Field of Neuroscience
    • Assessment and Measures of SI and Sensory Processing Difficulties
    • Evidence For the Treatment of Sensory Processing Difficulties:
      • Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy
      • Sensory Strategies

    We will support quality research projects that will provide robust evidence with clear relevance to service users, carers, and/or the organisation and delivery of effective services.

    Where appropriate, practitioners and service users should be involved. Close collaborative working between academic and service provider organisations is also encouraged.

    Grant Awards

    We have the following five grant awards available at the start of each calendar year:

    MSc Research Projects Grant (£5,000)

    These grants will support research activity undertaken as part of a Master’s programme where the focus of the research project is on advancing sensory integration knowledge and/or aligned with the key research themes.

    PhD Research Projects Grant (£5,000)

    These grants are to support the research activity undertaken as part of a PhD or Doctorate programme where the focus of the research project relates to one or more of the key research themes. Alternatively, experienced researchers who may be experts in other fields and are not eligible for SI practitioner status, such as Psychology and/or Neuroscience, may apply for funding to develop their knowledge of Ayres’ SI theory and practice in order to complete a proposed research project as part of their PhD.

    Small Projects/Studies Grant (£7,000)

    These grants support small pilot studies and/or single case study experimental design or qualitative studies reflecting the key research themes (above) with a clinical focus. Grants may be awarded to clinicians and health practitioners as well as new researchers.

    Dissemination of Research Grant (£3,000)

    These grants will contribute to conference attendance where research results relating to topics aligned to sensory integration theory and practice will be disseminated. The grant can also be used for developing skills for publishing research adhering to the SI research themes.

    Recruitment Support

    We will promote research on our online forums, publications and to our members relating to the research themes above.

    You can find further information on the support available and eligibility, as well as all our terms and conditions and research policies, within the Research section of our website.

  • 02 Jul 2020 21:42 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Have you thought how it would feel to qualify as a Sensory Integration Practitioner and introduce an SI approach to your practice? If you have not yet taken your first step along our UK-university-accredited pathway to SI practice, then this email is for you.

    In September, our next cohort of students will begin studying our popular Online SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience. This is the first of three modules which, upon successful completion, deliver you a Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Integration and SI Practitioner status. 

    Our accredited SI Modular Pathway is designed for graduate occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech & language therapists to develop the skills required to practice Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy in the context of their particular professional background. 

    This is a distance learning course so no need to worry about time off work or booking travel and accommodation. The content is taught using online presentations and lectures, animations, quizzes and practical activities, and some independent study tasks. You will have your own Advanced SI Practitioner e-mentor who will support your individual learning needs, plus an online study group offering peer-learning support. Plus, we give you a whole year to access the course content, meaning you can revisit it to bolster your knowledge before you continue on your pathway to practice. You will have access to our accrediting university’s library resources and student support facilities. You can also access downloadable transcripts of the course for offline study.

    We offer interest-free monthly payment plans for your convenience.

    Find out more about the PGCert, SI Module 1 and the full SI Modular Pathway here.

    So if you would like to experience for yourself the pride and excitement of qualifying as a Sensory Integration Practitioner and add a PGCert qualification to your CV, click here today. Bookings for the September 2020 cohort close on Friday 7 August 2020.

    We’re happy to answer any questions at support@sensoryintegration.org.uk

    Sensory Integration Education

    PS. Here’s what people who have recently completed the course said:


    “Really enjoyed it, great support from my tutor. Lectures were interesting and easy to follow. Very easy to access, fantastically done course. Can’t believe I did the whole module from my dining room almost stress free!” 

    “You will gain incredible indepth neuroscience detail. LOVED it!” 

    “If you have an interest and passion in ASI [Ayres’ Sensory Integration] then you must complete this course. It is very challenging but will give you a real buzz for ASI and leave you wanting to complete more modules.” 


    “It is interesting and worthwhile and a great first step of the building block to becoming a sensory integration therapist.”

    PPS. You can book module by module or, for greater savings, you can book onto the complete PGCert (3 modules) course.

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SI Network, Kemp House, 152 - 160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX, UK


We are a not for profit organisation. SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd trading as Sensory Integration Education. Established 1994.

Company registration no: 05068304  Copyright 2020

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