Each month of our Jubilee year, we’re focusing on a different sensory-related theme. In May, our focus is on older adults and sensory integration. We’d like to share a valuable little booklet called Dementia and Sensory Challenges, distributed by the Life Changes Trust.
This project was instigated by Agnes Houston, who lives with dementia, and who wanted to raise awareness of how to live a positive life with dementia and sensory challenges.
The author, Agnes Houston, says:
“I was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type nine years ago. I expected the memory issues, but when I started to have sensory challenges I did not know what was going on. While campaigning I have had the privilege to speak to others with dementia and discovered I was not alone.
“Others had these issues but very little had been written about them, so in desperation I decided to write a booklet in the hope of enlightening others to the sensory challenges some people with dementia may face.”
You can download the leaflet here.
There’s also an accompanying video of people living with dementia explaining in their own words how it feels and how they can be helped.
We’re delighted to award bursaries of £500 to three of our Advanced SI Practitioner members who have each had their abstracts accepted for European Sensory Integration Congress 2019, which is being held in Thessaloniki this June. We hope the bursaries will assist in covering the travel and accommodation costs of presenting at this prestigious event.
Our successful bursary recipients are:
Delfryn, Cygnet Healthcare, Wales, UK
Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner
Exelixi Therapy Center Argos, Greece
“The title of my oral presentation is ‘Let’s talk about what living with anxiety is like. Linking Sensory Processing and Anxiety in clinical and healthy populations: findings from a recent Systematic Literature Review.’
“The focus of the presentation will be on the demonstration of findings from a Systematic Review of primary evidence, completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for my MSc in SI.
“The aim of the Systematic Review was to explore all the possible associations between sensory processing disorders and anxiety/anxiety disorders. Methodology, implications for practice and future research and main limitations will be illustrated. I will also share real-life stories of patients and family members dealing with sensory problems and anxiety and discuss my personal approach to managing the impact of these conditions, at home, in the clinic and across health services.”
Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner
University of Worcester
As an organisation, Sensory Integration Education is committed to supporting the development of early career SI researchers by providing financial, recruitment and dissemination support. You can find out more about our Research Grants Awards here.
ESIC 2019 will focus on how sensory processing translates into everyday activities and quality of life. We’ll be reporting live from the congress - let us know if you’re attending so we can say hello!
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
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
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:
Rachel Ferguson, Researcher, Middletown Centre for Autism
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
What 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.
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:
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.
The Sensory Integration Education Editorial Team
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!
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.
Sensory Integration Education, Old Breedon School, 8 Reading Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7LY, 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 2019