Welcome to the October edition of EmphaSIze.
Recently we have been contacted by a number of readers enquiring about sensory integration and acquired / traumatic brain injury (ABI/TBI), so we decided that this month we would focus on sensory difficulties in these populations and have collated resources that we hope will be of benefit to those with an interest in this area. If you think we have missed a good resource or link then please get in touch, we would love to hear from you and share ideas!
Thank you to Hannah for answering last month's question, and to others who submitted answers and questions. With Fireworks' night approaching, can you assist this reader with his difficulties? Send us your suggestions and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.
My SI journey began with my desire as a physiotherapist to have a positive impact on public health in my community by encouraging people to be more physically active.
Exercise is one of the four pillars of physiotherapy and is well evidenced to play an important role in the prevention and management of many different conditions from depression to breast cancer. I began to work with local primary schools and different community groups to find ways of encouraging people to overcome some of the barriers to them living a physically active lifestyle.
Barriers such as lack of time, pain or motivation were the obvious hurdles I had considered, but I soon realised that for many people the barriers were more complex.
Sensory and motor problems were, for many people, impacting their ability to participate and enjoy physical activity. Asking the child with sensory issues, who dreaded PE lessons every week, to find a sport or type of exercise they could enjoy and access themselves regularly, was an almost impossible task without first addressing their whole needs.
I realised that I needed to extend my knowledge to be able to fully do my job properly, and I embarked on SI practitioner training. I’ve just recently completed module 2 and am looking forward to beginning module 3 next year. Through my studies I’m beginning to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of really looking at the bigger picture of somebody’s life, considering participation challenges, as well as looking at the detail, to help me think about the neuroscience and patterns of SI.
On September 8th Sensory Integration Education supported World Physical Therapy Day. This year’s theme was raising awareness of the importance of physiotherapy and particularly exercise for positive mental health. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition of some sort in their lifetime. There is now strong evidence that physical activity can both protect against the emergence of depression and treat depression.
As bestselling author Matt Haig says in his latest book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, “Mental health is intricately related to the whole body. And the whole body is intricately related to mental health. You can’t draw a line between a body and a mind anymore than you can draw a line between oceans. They are entwined…We are mental. We are physical. We are not split up into unrelated sections. We are not an existential department store. We are everything at once. Brains are physical”.
I am learning just how entwined physical and mental health are when thinking about SI. It’s impossible to ignore feelings such as anxiety, that many of the people we work with can experience as a result of SI difficulties. Recognising sensory and motor problems that impact on a person's motivation and ability to take part in play, exercise and acts of daily life is an important part of an SI trained physio’s skill set. Looking after physical and mental health (or maybe just health!) is important across the whole lifespan. Whether we work with children or older people, it’s important for us to be aware of the opportunity we have by addressing sensory needs, to support people to live longer, healthier lives.
I am a paediatric physiotherapist and an advanced sensory integration practitioner. For many years I worked as part of an NHS community service; working in a special school, conducting home visits, running clinics etc., however I left the NHS about 15 months ago and am now fully independent.
I am really passionate about trying to spread the word about SI to physiotherapists as I truly believe that the knowledge gained via SI training really does make a massive difference to our effectiveness as therapists.
World Physiotherapy Day this year focused on the importance of exercise for mental health which is something I am really interested in, I even did my final year dissertation on this very subject! Unfortunately, finding the motivation to exercise can often be very difficult, especially for those struggling with mental health issues or other difficulties and it can of course, be particularly tricky motivating children and young adults to do traditional exercise.
Since completing my SI training, I have realised that the core principles of SI are so fundamental to working with children, i.e. therapy being child led and the belief that there is an inner motivation or drive to play and learn.
Exercise can be perceived as boring or tiring, especially for those with low tone or postural and praxis issues, but by employing SI core principles it is so easy to get children active and exercising without them realising, because they are having fun.
My life now as an independent SI trained physiotherapist is extremely varied and never dull! I am particularly interested in Sensory Attachment Intervention and the effects of trauma on neurodevelopment. A lot of the work I do is with support after adoption agencies with children who have experienced developmental trauma. I am completely fascinated by the effects of developmental trauma on body awareness, temporal and spatial awareness and praxis and how many of these children have huge difficulties with their organisational skills. I think it’s amazing to see how quickly these children can begin to organise themselves with the appropriate sensory input.
I also receive referrals directly from parents and from schools and a lot of this work involves supporting parents and schools to understand sensory integration and facilitating them to incorporate sensory strategies into the classroom or into daily life at home. I also really enjoy doing training workshops for parents and professionals – I get a real buzz when parents and professionals start to see children’s ‘problem behaviours’ in a different light and begin to understand the meaning behind the behaviours, whether that be sensory or due to developmental trauma.
And if all of this isn’t keeping me busy enough I have just registered to undertake the research modules with Ulster University so that I can hopefully complete my Masters in SI. It’s a good job I like to be busy!
Hello and welcome to the September edition of EmphaSIze. This month we are thinking about the new academic year, and, with ‘Autism Interventions’ and ‘Is It Sensory, Is It Behaviour?’ workshops available through the SI Network this month, we have features linked to sensory processing in autism and related to behaviour.
Thank you to Rachel for answering last month's question, and to others who submitted answers and questions. This month’s question is a topical one, about sensory strategies in schools. Can you help answer it? Send your suggestions in and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.
Don't miss out on our next online SI Module 1 course. Bookings close on 10 August 2018.
See more about our postgraduate SI Module Pathway.
Welcome to an exciting new edition of EmphaSIze. This month we have lots of great resources for you, including games and books for the children and some ideas for the adults and teens for reducing visual clutter. Thank you to Olga from Madrid for her question. It is such a pleasure to see our newsletter reaching different countries and everyone working together as a Sensory Integration Education family! Can you help Olga? Email us with your suggestion and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.
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Admissions to the next cohort of SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience, starting in September, close on 10th August 2018: find out more and how to book here.
If you’ve already started on your pathway to SI practice, find out more about how to achieve your next milestone: PGCert in SI; SI Practitioner status; Advanced SI Practitioner status; PGDip in SI; or the MSc Degree in Sensory Integration.
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You are invited to take part in a web-based survey conducted in fulfilment of a Sensory Integration MSc research project by Julia-Marie White (PG Dip OT), accredited by Ulster University. You have been contacted via the Sensory Integration Education mailing list, following your consent to be contacted for research purposes.
The research study is aimed at qualified ASI practitioners working with adolescents / adults / older adults in the workplace, and concerns how ASI is currently implemented by this population, also looking at factors that could support practitioners with future implementation. The study includes those who are ASI qualified but who are not currently practising ASI, but excludes practitioners working with paediatric populations only.
If you decide to take part, you will be asked to complete a brief online survey. It should take about 15 minutes. Each survey participant will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a £25 Amazon voucher; the winner will be randomly selected.
Participation in the project is entirely voluntary, and all responses will be kept confidential. Any potential identifying information will be removed prior to publication, and the information you provide will be held securely, as required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
A participant information can be seen below if you wish to find out more about the study. If you choose to participate, you will be asked to complete an electronic consent form before taking the survey.
To participate in the survey, please click on the weblink below:
Use the following (case-sensitive) password to access the survey: ASIPilot
In order to complete the project within agreed timelines, please complete the questionnaire by Monday 13/08/18. Please respond only once.
If you require any more information about the study, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for taking the time to consider this invitation.
Julia-Marie White, PG Dip OT
A mixed-methods approach to investigate the implementation of Ayres’ Sensory Integration® (ASI) by qualified ASI practitioners working with adolescents / adults / older adults in the UK
You have been invited to take part in a web-based survey conducted in fulfilment of a Sensory Integration MSc research project by Julia-Marie White (PG Dip OT), accredited by Ulster University. The Sensory Integration (SI) Network has provided funding and recruitment support for the study.
Before deciding whether or not to participate, it is important that you understand the purpose of the research and what will be asked of you. Please read the information below, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the e-mail address provided at the bottom of the page.
This research project aims to investigate how ASI is currently being implemented by the population of qualified ASI practitioners working with adolescents / adults / older adults in the workplace, through collecting demographic information and seeking practitioner views to identify if there are common facilitators and barriers that affect ASI implementation. The study also aims to identify factors that could support practitioners with future implementation.
You have been contacted via the Sensory Integration Network mailing list, following your consent to be contacted for research purposes. As a qualified ASI practitioner currently working with adolescents / adults / older adults, your views and experiences are greatly valued to understand the research issue. The study also includes those who are ASI qualified but who are not currently practising ASI.
Participation in the study is entirely voluntary. If you do decide to take part you will be able to keep a copy of this information sheet, and you will be asked to indicate your agreement to participate through the online consent form. You may withdraw at any time whilst completing the survey, without needing to give a reason.
You will be asked to complete a web-based survey, which is estimated to take 15 minutes. As a thank you for your time and effort taken, all those completing survey entries will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a £25 Amazon voucher. The winner will be randomly selected.
If you decide to take part, you will need to click on the hyperlink contained within the e-mail sent to you, and you will be directed to the survey webpage, where you will be asked to enter the password (also provided in the e-mail). You will be asked to answer the survey questions provided. There are no other commitments associated with participating.
Taking part in the study is not expected to cause you any disadvantage or discomfort. In the event that you have serious concerns about any part of the study, please contact the Chief Investigator Dr. Greg Kelly (details below). Ulster University has strict procedures for the reporting, investigation and handling of adverse events, and all complaints will be taken seriously.
It is hoped that this study will have a beneficial impact on ASI practitioner development through enabling best practice to be shared, and transferred to areas where ASI implementation may present challenges. Through identification of factors that may support future ASI implementation, it is also hoped that the study will be able to provide recommendations for action, which may inform future development needs. Study participants may request to be contacted and informed when / where the study results are to be disseminated via the online survey, in order to inform their professional work.
The information that we collect about you will be kept confidential. Your details will not be identifiable in any reports or publications, and your responses to the online questionnaire will be stored securely online in a password-protected form. Once the data are collected and the prize draw incentive allocated, the data will be anonymised for analysis. The anonymised data collected may be shared with other researchers for validation purposes, but will not allow any individual to be identifiable, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The questionnaire is interested in exploring your views and experiences to understand how ASI is currently being implemented in the workplace. You will not be recorded in any way other than your input to the questionnaire.
This study has been peer-reviewed and approved by an Ethics committee in accordance with Ulster University guidelines. Information on University Research Governance may be obtained from the Chief Investigator if required.
The research study is being conducted in fulfilment of a Sensory Integration MSc award by Julia-Marie White (PG Dip OT), and is accredited through Ulster University. Funding and recruitment support have been obtained from the Sensory Integration Network.
Name of Researcher: Julia-Marie White. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name of Chief Investigator: Dr. Greg Kelly, Reader, School of Health Sciences, Ulster University.
Tel: +442890366365, E-mail: email@example.com
Thank you very much for taking the time to consider this invitation.
There are so many ways to raise your children, and it seems more and more parents are trying to be gentle in their approaches. But this can be tricky once they hit school age. From about age five, children spend a significant amount of their time in school. In fact, Australian children spend the second most amount of time in primary education out of all OECD countries. So, working out ways to align with the school system is vital to your children's adaptation to this new place where they'll spend most of their time. See more
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