When taking up my first SEN teaching role 8 years ago, little did I know how much I was going to use my Occupational Therapy training. I am now a Senior Leader at a large mainstream school in London, and a large part of my time is spent supporting parents and teaching staff to consider the behaviors a child may be presenting outside the assumption that they are being naughty or are simply a fidget.
In my first teaching role, I was lucky enough to be supervised by an experienced paediatric OT who was part of a team that promoted SI theory and had a clinic for children. (I am a dual qualified OT/teacher). She introduced me to the Sensory Integration Network and I attended the SI Network’s 1 day introduction course around 7 years ago and became fascinated and wanted to know more. The theory seemed to explain much of what I was seeing in my daily practice and even better, offered therapeutic, evidence based, solutions.
I booked on to the SI level 1 course and headed to Birmingham for a week to study with incredibly knowledgeable lecturers and learn more about the theory. I have been able to use this learning to support what I see day to day and all of the strategies that I know have worked in the past with other children to support putting adaptions in place in classrooms so that we have an inclusive school environment. I even lead a project about making classrooms universally sensory friendly. I am delighted that the modules are now online, as like many of you, finding the time to spend two weeks in Birmingham has proved so far impossible for me with a busy home and work life. But I am hoping that 2019 will be the year that I continue my SI journey.