Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy 

Helping children and adults with SI difficulties


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  • 02 Sep 2017 23:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Some safety concerns have been raised this evening by one of our readers about one of the top tip suggestions sent in this month - transferring kidney beans with a straw. We thank our reader for taking the time to contact us.

    The concerns are that raw kidney beans can contain toxins and could also cause a choking hazard if sucked up through a wide bore straw. The EmphaSIze editorial team takes all safety issues very seriously. It upholds these concerns and has removed this top tip from its publication. It does not recommend this activity as a safe therapeutic task.

    EmphaSIze Editorial Team

  • 01 Sep 2017 09:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome to the September issue of EmphaSIze. This month we have some great products, books and research articles to share with you plus news the launch of SI Module 2 and SI Module 3 as online courses. There is also information on the recently refreshed Facebook Groups and two of our local groups for professionals.

    We have news from Diana Henry on developing the Sensory Processing Measure for use across the lifespan and updates of the first International Sensory Integration Congress (ISIC 2018) and the Ayres 2020 Vision initiative.

    We urge you all to be active and get lots of proprioceptive and vestibular input outdoors in the last of the summer sun. Check out our app suggestions for some more inspiration.

    Keep sending in your tips, questions and answers. Nikki and I love reading about the work that you are doing.

    Kate Bradley

    Read the EmphaSIze here. No need to log in!

  • 27 Aug 2017 15:39 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Regional SI Network Group Scotland - Update from meeting on 29th July 2017.

    A group of 12 occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, (all of whom are at different stages on the SI Modular Pathway), met for mutual support, sharing of news, and discussion on various topics.

    Mandy Adamson provided feedback on ESIC 2017. The group plan to take time to watch some of the presentations in our meetings.

    Members were directed to a current survey being run in Scotland as part of a joint project by MindRoom (a Scottish Charity concerned with improving outcomes for those with any kind of learning disability), Edinburgh University and NHS. The group felt that it would be important to contribute research questions related to sensory processing difficulties.

    Liz Brown and others shared their experience of working through SI Module 4 of the Practitioner Training and there are plans for the sharing of their case studies.

    The group plan to be involved in the gathering of normative data in Scotland for the new EASI assessment. This is likely to be taking place in 2018. Mandy Adamson updated the group on the current progress internationally.

    Two members of the group are just completing the online Module 1 Practitioner Training. It will be interesting to discuss their experience in comparison to the face to face training.

    Members stated that sharing of cases and clinical discussions were to be a priority in our meetings. Quick reviews of aspects of the neurology underpinning sensory processing would also be helpful.

    Our next meetings are gong to be 28th Oct. and 27th Jan 2018, 11.00am to 2.00pm. Venues to be confirmed.

    New members welcome!

    Join us in our closed Facebook group here.

  • 27 Aug 2017 15:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Throughout August we have been busy condensing and refreshing the Sensory Integration Network's closed Facebook groups. We are now delighted to share the revised group structures with you all.

    In response to members' wishes that they would like to share support and learning more closely across professional disciplines and global regions, we have now created a new "shared" space, not just for therapists but for all professionals interested in Ayres SI across the lifespan - the "Sensory Integration Professionals" Group. This group is an informal peer support group and replaces the previous Profession-Specific Groups plus the Clinical Specialty, Researcher Support and International Groups.

    We have also reviewed the regional groups and split them into just 4 geographical regions - England, Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Local SI groups for professionals can now share discussions, dates of meetings and venue details via these groups - a great way to publicise get-togethers, promote existing groups and advertise new groups quickly and efficiently.

    The Module 2/3 and Module 4 groups, the Parents group and the Feeding and Eating group all remain, with some minor revisions. Groups for new and past module 1 students have now been moved away from Facebook and over to new online forums.

    We do hope you will enjoy using these revised online spaces and we look forward to supporting and networking with you in these.

  • 27 Aug 2017 15:09 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month, the EmphaSIze Team received some exciting news about the Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) from one of our international colleagues and critical friends, Diana Henry.

    This is what Diana had to tell us:

    "For those using the Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) or interested in adding this standardized rating scale with your assessments, please note that my SPM co-authors and I have been working on the SPM "across the lifespan" from infants through adults.

    The multiple forms, including a driving form for driving adolescents, have gone through piloting and are now in data collection for standardization.

    There will also be SPM Quick Tips "across the life span" to include infants (and their caregivers), adolescents and adults. "

    We have developed items for the following Forms:

    Infants and Toddlers

    1. 4-9 mos
    2. 10-30 mos
    3. Caregiver (to complete on their own sensory preferences and challenges for comparing with the infant's..."goodness of fit- co-occupation")


    1. Home
    2. School


    1. Child School
    2. Child Home
    3. Child Environments (Art, Music, PE, Recess, Cafeteria, Bus)


    1. Self-questionnaire
    2. Parent
    3. Teacher
    4. Driving (self and informant)


    1. Self-Questionnaire
    2. Informant/ friend/significant other
    3. Driving (self and informant)

    We have completed the pilot studies and the results are exciting.

  • 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.

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