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  • 03 Apr 2019 23:41 | Anonymous

    Welcome to this Spring edition of EmphaSIze.  It is World Autism Awareness Week 1-7 April 2019 so several of this month’s features are linked to Autism.

    We have brought our members some great new offers this month: 10% discount from our preferred suppliers including Southpaw, Rompa and Chewigem. Plus a new Early Bird Offer: secure your course bookings early and save an extra 5% discount on course fees!

    Congratulations to Laura who answered the March question, and won a £25 Amazon voucher.

    Cathy Warne, Editor


  • 20 Mar 2019 13:16 | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to report that SI Module 3: Clinical Reasoning and Practice in Sensory Integration: Intervention online is now underway with a large cohort of students from 12 different countries moving forward from the interpretive skills they acquired in SI Module 2 Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment, to engage with goal setting and SI interventions across the lifespan.

    In addition to the interactive and engaging online content, the students will undertake 30 hours of clinical practice. Their academic learning is supported by our team of Advanced Practitioner Module e-Mentors and mentoring is provided by Clinical Mentors.

    Upon successful completion, the student’s knowledge and skills will cohere with those identified at Practitioner level in the proposed ICEASI framework, and they will have achieved an academic PG Certificate and be entitled to use the title SIE SI Practitioner.

    We wish all our students the very best of luck for the module.


    Dr Sylvia Taylor-Goh

    Director of Postgraduate Education

    Sensory Integration Education


  • 18 Mar 2019 15:49 | Anonymous

    I have been a Researcher at Middletown Centre for Autism since completing a Doctorate in Life and Health Sciences at The University of Ulster in 2014. Prior to this I completed a degree in occupational therapy and a foundation degree in art and design. During this time, I became increasingly interested in children's sensory processing.

    However, it wasn’t until I began working in Middletown Centre for Autism that I truly appreciated how sensory processing and integration treatment significantly improves the lives of many young people with autism and their families.

    I work alongside very experienced SI trained therapists and through my research I have directly witnessed the impact SI treatment has on an individual’s ability to access educational and social ‘norms’. As a result of this research, we have created online resources for teachers and parents of children with autism. These free open access resources are available from our website and give us the opportunity to:

    • Increase awareness within the education sector of the impact sensory processing and integration issues have on children with autism and their ability to access the curriculum. 
    • Support learning and understanding of sensory needs and appropriate sensory strategies for young people with autism both at home and in school.
    Developing the Sensory Resource and others has encouraged me to continue my education and understanding of SI. I have recently enrolled for Module 1 of the SI course to enhance my knowledge for practice and am looking forward to learning new skills.

    Rachel Ferguson, Researcher, Middletown Centre for Autism

  • 18 Mar 2019 15:36 | Anonymous

    I graduated in OT from University of Ulster in 2000.  My student placement in paediatrics ignited my interest in pursuing that specialism.  It was during that placement that I observed the strength of multidisciplinary working as the OT and SLT delivered almost all intervention as a joint approach, using SI.  This formed the foundation for my future clinical practice. 

    I commenced a post in special schools in 2001 and embraced the opportunity to be a health professional working within education.  I worked closely with SLTs, teachers and assistants, often delivering joint intervention sessions.  This allowed children to achieve therapeutic goals alongside curriculum targets.  It was during this time that I completed my SI training which hugely enhanced my clinical practice with children with autism, ADHD, DCD developmental delays and learning difficulties.  I became increasingly interested in how using an SI framework enhanced our team’s understanding of the behaviours observed in autism and how an SI based approach could support increased engagement in play, interaction and learning.

    In 2008 I moved to Middletown Centre for Autism where I am employed as a Trainer/Advisor.  My primary role is to deliver training in autism specific topics to parents and professionals, but as we work across departments, I am also involved in Research and in Learning Support and Assessment (LSA).  This cross-departmental working enriches each part of my job.  My experience of working with children and young people informs my training delivery, while involvement in research projects ensures I am using the most current evidence based practice in both my intervention work and my training sessions.

    The LSA team works within a transdisciplinary model which includes teachers, OTs, SLTs and behaviour specialists.  Team members work as coordinators for children and young people referred to the Centre, integrating the recommendations from the different professionals into a single Learning Support Plan which is implemented across home and school settings.  This has given me experience in different intervention approaches for autism and how they can be integrated with SI based strategies to provide a cohesive approach to intervention and support, ensuring greater consistency for the person with autism, their family and school staff.   

    Jill McCanney, Autism Trainer/Advisor, Middletown Centre for Autism

  • 15 Mar 2019 11:59 | Anonymous

    What are the big OT questionsWhat are the big questions that occupational therapists and people who use OT services want answered? The Royal College of Occupational Therapy is embarking,this month, on a major project to define the OT profession’s research priorities over the coming years.

    As well as launching the RCOT Priority Settings Partnership (PSP) project,  RCOT is looking for partners to help them engage with diverse and hard-to-reach audiences. Find out more here.

  • 02 Mar 2019 00:59 | Anonymous

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    The latest issue of SensorNet is now available. 

    Please login to our website and access it here. If you need to reset your password, you can do so 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 Spring edition of SensorNet edition include:

    • The SI Education Autumn Conference) round-up – We bring all the action to you – reflections, interviews and photos
    • Practice-based Feature Articles: We hear from a Physiotherapist and a Speech And Language Therapist who both use an SI approach in their practice
    • Feature Interview: South African Occupational Therapist –Dr. Annemarie Lombard – Author and Occupational Therapist discusses sensory intelligence
    • SI Education Video Production Project: Learn more about how you can get involved
    • Outstanding students of the year: Sanjeev Badwal and Susan McGill tell us how embarking on the SI Education modular pathway has enhanced their practice
    • Research updates - References and abstracts for recent articles related to sensory processing and neuroscience
    • The Big Interview: Lelanie Brewer, Head of Education Programmes, chats about her new role

    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.

    Kind regards

    The Sensory Integration Education Editorial Team


  • 02 Mar 2019 00:56 | Anonymous

    Prompted by a reader enquiry, this month we are focusing on transitions between childhood to adulthood, with links to SI.  We hope you will find useful ideas among the featured items.

    Congratulations to Belén 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.

    Click here to see our March edition of EmphaSIze - no need to log in!

    Cathy Warne

    EmphaSIze Editor



  • 26 Feb 2019 14:11 | Anonymous

    My name is Pip Lenton. I am an OT and an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration. I work at a national specialist college for young people aged 18-25 who have learning and physical disabilities. Students come to us from school or sixth form and the transition process takes place in their last year of school.

    The essential part of the process is collaboration of all the stakeholders in making the transition as individualised as possible. The college multi-disciplinary team looks at the application information to produce an intake plan. If an individual’s sensory needs are highlighted at this point, I would become more involved in the intake process before the individual comes to college. I will visit them at school and sometimes at home to begin the process of creating a sensory passport. I use published assessments, but conversations with the parents and carers of the young people can be especially pertinent, as our young people’s presentation is not easily captured within most standardised assessments.

    Young adults have sometimes found ways of managing their sensory processing difficulties. Increasingly, young people are coming through transition having had their sensory processing difficulties recognised and addressed at school. The parents and carers have a good understanding of their young person’s needs and I am careful to capture this information and communicate it to education and care staff.

    There are still some individuals with sensory processing issues that have not been identified prior to their intake assessment. Signifiers that can emerge through interview, indicating possible sensory processing issues, include a dislike of bright lights, difficulty dressing, clumsiness, difficulties with kerbs, difficulties with personal care, difficulties with transition and with being moved backwards in their wheelchair.

    The college education staff have received basic training in the sensory systems and how difficulties with these can be addressed within the sessions. Curriculum subjects offer opportunities for activities which enhance an individual’s sensory processing. These include horse riding, trampolining, forest skills, horticulture and adventure film making. Our PMLD students have a curriculum which aims to deliver learning through making the most of their preferred sensory stimuli. For example, a session called Sensory Wellbeing in which we focus on promoting ways for individuals to experience proprioception, vestibular input and touch.

    The OT role in the first term is to translate what we have learned in assessment into practical solutions for promoting their learning with the ultimate aim of finding appropriate activities to promote lifelong learning through purposeful activities which also address the individual’s sensory needs.

  • 26 Feb 2019 14:01 | Anonymous

    I am an Occupational Therapist and an SI Practitioner, completing my practitioner training in 2018. I work in a community multi-disciplinary team within Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust working with adults with learning disabilities.

    Some of the sensory referral requests are for young adults transitioning from school to adult services. Sometimes they have had sensory profiles completed, but others may not have received any sensory assessments throughout their childhood. I have recently been working with a young woman in transition from children’s services. The OT role involved a sensory profile as part of an autism assessment, plus making links with her school, who had previously assessed her sensory needs. It was good to be able to compare results and ensure there is carry over to my client’s home life. Some strategies and equipment that are working at school, are not at home, as she compartmentalises her activities. So, my role is to provide education at home with her family and be creative to identify alternative sensory strategies to support her modulation needs.

    It is very difficult when young adults leave the structured environment of a school. Often there are many changes to their lifestyle – new education facilities and/or daytime activity opportunities led by private providers and also possible move to new accommodation from their family homes. Where their sensory needs were being met in the structured school setting these key changes can upset their sensory balance in their new lifestyle and impact on how they interact and function in their daily life. With my client, I am also working on independence skills at home with personal care as the sensory assessment highlighted a sensory basis to her function, for example being able to tip her head back to wash her hair.

    As I work in the community, I do not have access to an ASI clinic resource, so recommendations and interventions have to be creative looking at a person’s daily life, access to resources, supporting sensory diets and training and education with carers.

    Sandi O’Neill

  • 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.

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