How do you make SI therapy more accessible and affordable for families whilst encouraging more mums and dads to participate? Convince a premier league football club to subsidise family sessions and host them in their stadium’s very own sensory room! Read how an SLT and an OT are bringing this inspirational project to life and how families can book their SI sessions this January/February.
Image: The specialist sensory room at Arsenal FC
Laura Osman, Speech and Language Therapist, Qualified Teacher, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner and Feeding Therapist, is setting up a series of family sessions designed to develop children’s communication, language and learning skills and to teach parents strategies to enable them to facilitate their own children’s learning and development at home. Session blocks will be run by different resident therapists throughout the year including speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, sensory integration practitioners and dance therapists. What is unusual about these PEPTalk sessions is that they will be delivered with the support of The Arsenal Foundation and take place within the football club’s sensory rooms - complete with views of the pitch!
And in January-February 2019, Louisa Hargett, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner and Occupational Therapist, will be running PEPTalk Sensory Integration. This will be a 5-session block of group intervention focusing on supporting parents to understand their child’s sensory processing and its importance in their child’s learning and development. During the block, she will provide families with individualised, practical and fun advice and strategies to support their child’s sensory integration at home. The principles of Ayres’ Sensory Integration will be applied to all sessions.
PEPtalk Sensory Integration will be held on Thursdays starting at the end of January 2019. There will be a session for under-5s at 2.30pm and a session for 5+ at 3.30pm. It will be held in the specialised sensory room at Arsenal Football Club, Islington, North London. Spaces are limited so please register your interest in attending the group by emailing your child’s name and date of birth to Laura Osman at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Laura explained to the EmphaSIze team why she is establishing these sessions:
“I’m frequently contacted by families seeking support from an independent therapist pre or post assessment and diagnosis. The cost of independent therapy is high, particularly if therapy needs to be ongoing or families want to explore a range of interventions, including Sensory Integration. With the support of The Arsenal Foundation and enthusiastic therapists like Louisa, the PEPTalk design enables therapy to be meaningful and effective for individual families. Empowering parents to use strategies and embed them into their child’s everyday will maximise their child’s potential.”
She is keen to get more therapists to get involved:
“PEPTalk is reliant on enthusiastic therapists who are motivated to reach more families, apply highly specialised approaches, challenge expectations and have fun whilst doing it! I would love to hear from any Sensory Integration trained therapists, or therapists currently completing the SIE Modular training pathway, who may be interested in being involved in the project. You can contact me on the email above.”