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  • 01 Apr 2017 11:41 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Jump, Hop and Skip into Spring

    When I think of spring, my immediate thought is of taking my children to see the baby animals at our local farm. My daughter’s favourites are the hopping baby rabbits and my son loves to feed the lambs who are still wobbling around finding their feet. So taking the baby animals as my inspiration, in this edition we are focussing on balance! 

    There is a ‘just right’ challenge for everybody’s balance, whether you are working on sitting balance with a non ambulant patient, back wheel balancing with a wheelchair user or watching a gymnast complete a double backflip on a beam. Our sense of balance is important for our everyday functioning and our health and wellbeing. And this link between balance and health has long been emphasised not only by the medical professional but also through complementary therapy practices such as yoga and tai chi. So I encourage you all to balance, wobble, hop, skip and jump your way into April!    

    Nikki White, Lead Editor

    Click here to read our free EmphaSIze newsletter - no need to log in.

  • 29 Mar 2017 22:44 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    The Middle England Regional Group was set up by Occupational Therapist, Fiona Easom and her colleague Christine Galbraith to share ideas and best practise with other professionals in the area.

    Since Christine has moved to New Zealand, Fiona has taken the reigns as leader of the group – a role which she juggles with her full-time OT role.

    The group has a large contact list that comprises a host of professionals with different backgrounds including those from the NHS, Independent Schools, Physiotherapists and independent OTs.

    This month the meeting will take place at Ash Green, the adult learning disability centre in Chesterfield, in their dedicated SI room. 

    As Fiona explains, “This will be a great practical session.  People will come along and discuss new ideas and ways of working with suspended and other equipment for therapy.  We will also give participants the chance to bring along their favourite piece of equipment – and show others how they use it.”

    With such a vibrant mix of participants, there is bound to be lots of ideas sharing and collaboration.

    Fiona is keen to encourage new members.  “We are a small and friendly group, attracting around 8 – 11 participants at each session.  We would welcome anyone with an interest in SI to join us.”

    The next SI Middle England Group meeting at Ash Green, Ashgate Road, Chesterfield. S42 7JE on Wednesday 26th of April from 1pm to 4pm. 

    If you would like to find out more, or attend the group, please contact Fiona Easom on Fiona.easom@gmail.com

  • 29 Mar 2017 14:34 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    This is a 2-day course looking at the sensory development of babies from conception up to the age of 2 years.

    • Date: 2-3 October 2017
    • Venue: London
    • Fee: £370 for members (Payment plan available)

    This course is suitable for all occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, doctors, nurses and early educators who are interested in sensory development with a particular focus on the preterm population.

    • To introduce EI-SMART, an early intervention model developed for those working with babies.
    • To provide an understanding of sensory development – sequential development from conception to 2 years (1001 critical days).
    • To provide an overview of behavioural cues and the language of the newborn.
    • To explore co-regulation leading to self-regulation.
    • To provide an overview of the theory of attachment and attunement.
    • To explore baby occupations understood through the senses: Eat, Sleep and Play.
    • To discuss causes of atypical development both environmental and neurological from a sensory perspective.

    Lecturer, Emily Hills Bsc (Hons), is a Clinical Specialised Occupational Therapist currently working in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), within a general hospital. She is passionate about family-centred care and creating the optimal sensory environment for the preterm baby and their family.

    Emily has completed both her Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale and Newborn Behavioural Observation certification and is an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration (SI). 

  • 23 Mar 2017 23:18 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Research Study Recruitment

    I am Stephanie Hunt, an Occupational Therapist and MSc Student and I am undertaking research to identify the factors that influence an Occupational Therapist’s treatment strategy when addressing emotional regulation difficulties in children with ASD.

    I am currently seeking Occupational Therapists who work with children and young people with ASD. The research involves the completion of an online survey expected to take no longer than 15 minutes to complete online.

    If you would like to participate please read the ‘participant information information’ below and use the link provided to complete the online survey. Your completion of the survey will be considered as you giving your consent to participate in the study.


    You do not have to respond if you are not interested in this study.  If you do not respond, no one will contact you, but you may receive another email which you can simply disregard. 

    Thank you.

    Kind regards

    Stephanie Hunt

    Occupational Therapist


    Participant information 

    Thank you for taking an interest in this study.

    The study is intended to determine what influences an Occupational Therapist’s treatment programme when addressing emotional regulation difficulties in children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This study is being conducted as part of MSc research project at the Ulster University. Please read the following information before you decide whether to take part. If after reading you have any questions, please contact me via the details provided at the end of this sheet.

    Title of study

    What factors influence an Occupational Therapist’s treatment strategy when addressing emotional regulation difficulties in children with ASD?

    Why is the research being done?

    There is increasing pressure for Occupational Therapists to use evidence based practice, measure outcomes and ensure cost effectiveness when delivering their services. Yet for Occupational Therapists who work with children and young people with ASD, there is limited research regarding which interventions are most effective in terms of benefits derived by the child or young person and the associated costs to the commissioning organisation. The autistic spectrum encompasses a wide variety of additional needs, encompassing children with and without learning difficulties. Consequently, a knowledge and understanding of which strategies are most suitable for children and young people with ASD can be challenging, particularly for a therapist who is unfamiliar with this specific area of practice.

    What are the benefits of this research?

    This project will help to determine what influences Occupational Therapists when deciding on treatment strategies to address emotional regulation difficulties in children and young people with ASD.

    Who should participate in the study?

    Occupational Therapists who currently work with children and young people with ASD.

    Do you have to take part in this research?

    No, you are under no obligation to take part in this study.

    What will be required of me?

    This study will require you to complete an online survey; your completion of the survey will be taken as your consent to participate. It is anticipated that the survey will take up to 15 minutes to complete.

    How will I use the information?

    Results will be analysed and included into an MSc research project with Ulster University. Results may be presented in an Occupational Therapy journal however publications will not identify any individual or organisation. I would be pleased to email you the findings of my research upon completion please contact me via the email address below if this is something you would like.

    Are there any risks?

    It is not anticipated that individuals will experience any risk from taking part in the research.

    Will my details be kept private?

    Yes, information that you give will remain anonymous. You are not required to give your name or any other identifying information in the research.

    All data will be collected and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

    What happens next?

    If you would like to participate please use the link provided to complete the online survey. Your completion of the survey will be considered as you giving your consent to participate in the study. Once you have completed the survey you are unable to withdraw the information that you have provided.

    Thank you for reading this information sheet,

    Contact for further information

    Name: Stephanie Hunt (Occupational Therapist and MSc Student)

    Email: Hunt-S3@email.ulster.ac.uk

    Independent Contact

    Name: Mary Hannon-Fletcher (Project Supervisor)

    Head of School, Health Sciences

    Ulster University, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB

    Email: mp.hannon@ulster.ac.uk

  • 23 Mar 2017 15:09 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    The latest issue of SensorNet is now available. 

    Please login to our website and access it 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:

    • The Big Interview – Carolyn Murray Slutsky talks to SensorNet about her career to date and her recent AOTA award.
    • Practice Based Feature: Ruth Vickerstaff tells SensorNet about the positive impact the SI Network in-house training has had within her workplace – (a mental health setting).
    • SI practitioners in action – Gina Daly and Claire Stokes, Paediatric Occupational Therapists, explain how specialist training in Sensory Integration can be used in clinical practice.
    • Sensory Integration online learning –The recent developments from SI 1 online are detailed.
    • SI Network Student Research - Aine Henry, shares her MSc Sensory Integration research project with SensorNet.
    • Lecture Notes – Yolanda Artiga, a parent of a child with Sensory Modulation Disorder shares her learning experience from the SI Network “Introduction to Sensory Integration Difficulties” course.
    • SI Network out and About – Where to watch out for us over the coming months
    • Research support committee update – read more about how the SI Network can support your research
    • Research updates - References and abstracts for recent articles related to sensory processing and neuroscience.
    • Also 10% discount for Silver and Gold members from Rompa and Southpaw for purchases made until the end of June!

    Thank you to all our contributors for this edition.

  • 13 Mar 2017 22:21 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Are you a Clinician?

    Would you like to help a study being undertaken collaboratively between researchers at Coventry University and Oxford Brookes University and which is being supported by the SI Network?

    Study Title: Validation of the Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire – UK Version & Cross-Cultural Comparison of Motor Function in Pre-School Children

    The study intends to:

    • develop a valid and reliable version of a questionnaire to screen pre-school UK children for movement difficulties
    • compare motor function of pre-school children across cultures
    • facilitate an improved understanding of the relationships between sensory and behavioural factors on the motor function of young children

    Please see here for more information.

  • 05 Mar 2017 20:06 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Middle England Regional Group

    Contact: Fiona Easom

    We are holding the next SI Middle England Group meeting at Ash Green, Ashgate Road, Chesterfield. S42 7JE – Wednesday 26th of April from 1pm to 4pm.

    Ash Green are kindly allowing us access to their Sensory Integration Room, so that we can have a practical session looking at different ways of using suspended and other equipment for therapy. We are a small and friendly group who welcome new participants.

  • 01 Mar 2017 09:24 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    Bring More Play Into Your Lives

    It’s finally starting to feel like winter is over. Flowers are blooming and the days are getting a little longer. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we are focusing this edition of EmphaSIze on nurturing, play and relationships. In our Editor’s Picks we have some great resources and suggestions to encourage a more playful approach to Sensory Integration. Albert Einstein beautifully quotes “play is the highest form of research”, so why not make play development a CPD focus and book yourself a place on The Art of Therapy: Play and Relationships, running in July in London.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all our ‘mum’ readers.

    Kate Bradley, Editor

  • 28 Feb 2017 21:28 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    For this month’s Meet the Member feature, we spoke to Donna Boygle, a paediatric occupational therapist from Southend.

    Donna juggles between working in a special school, practising in a private clinic and managing a busy home life with 2 children aged 6 and 14 months. She also makes time to practise mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

    For this Mother’s Day special, we look at how a career in sensory integration works with being a mum.

    Donna has been a qualified occupational therapist for 12 years and a member of the SI Network since she started practising sensory integration, 7 years ago. As Donna says, “My children are a big part of my work. They come along to my private clinic and love to play on the equipment. My children also occasionally come along to the Special Needs school where I work as a Consultant Sensory Practitioner, to experience meeting and interacting with special needs children.

    For Donna, our Network has provided her with support as an independent occupational therapist operating outside the NHS. “My biggest lifeline is the group I have set up with 4 other mums that I met on one of the SI courses. We all live in different parts of the UK, but have common issues and we all catch up and give each other advice in the evenings, once the kids are in bed.”

    She also uses our social media and is a regular on the Facebook page and Module 4 learning group to ensure she stays up to date with the latest thinking. In Donna’s own words, “When you are an independent OT working for yourself, you have to make the most of the connections you have.”

    We wish Donna every luck in her practise and her future using sensory integration techniques to help her clients and their families.

  • 01 Feb 2017 19:45 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    This issue of EmphaSIze is dedicated to ongoing continued professional development (CPD), vision and perception. Vision and the way we interpret this sense through visual perception are important skills needed for developing reading and writing. These are two essential skills needed when completing our CPD! Our editors picks this month will focus on stimulating the visual sense and developing visual perception. We will also look at some ways that you can participate in CPD activities using the resources of the SI Network and share with you what other members have already been busy doing. Happy reading!

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