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  • 24 May 2019 13:09 | Anonymous

    ADDitude magazine has updated their helpful list of the signs that an adult with sensory integration difficulties (here termed ‘sensory processing disorder’) may exhibit.

    The article notes that adults with sensory integration difficulties report feeling that a shade is pulled over the outside world; experiencing muted sights, sounds, and touch; and/or frequent feelings of sensory overload.

    See their list of signs (in a home and work environment) that may indicate sensory integration difficulties in an adult.

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  • 24 May 2019 11:13 | Anonymous

    Continuing our jubilee year theme of Older Adults and SI, here’s a paper* on The relationship between sensory-processing patterns and occupational engagement among older persons published by  The Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2017.

    The study comprised 180 people, aged between 50 to 73 years and living in their own homes, completing the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile and the Activity Card Sort. The authors found that better registration of sensory input and greater sensory seeking were related to greater occupational engagement.

    The authors called for further research in this area and suggested that occupational therapists should encourage older people to seek sensory input and provide them with rich sensory environments for enhancing meaningful engagement in real life.

    *Engel-Yeger, B., & Rosenblum, S. (2017). The relationship between sensory-processing patterns and occupational engagement among older persons: La relation entre les schèmes d’intégration sensorielle et la participation occupationnelle chez les personnes âgées. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 84(1), 10–21. https://doi.org/10.1177/0008417417690415

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  • 23 May 2019 16:56 | Anonymous

    A new study(1) shows that rocking boosts deep sleep, sleep maintenance, and memory in healthy adults. The study, published in Current Biology, also demonstrated that sensory processing continues during sleep and can influence brain oscillations.

    For the study, adult volunteers spent three nights in a sleep lab. The first night was to get them used to sleeping there. The second night they spent in a gentle rocking bed and on the third night they slept on an identical bed that wasn't moving.

    "Having a good night's sleep means falling asleep rapidly and then staying asleep during the whole night," said Laurence Bayer of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. "Our volunteers - even if they were all good sleepers -fell asleep more rapidly when rocked and had longer periods of deeper sleep associated with fewer arousals during the night. We thus show that rocking is good for sleep."

    The researchers also tested if the better quality of sleep influenced memory consolidation. They gave participants paired words to study and then asked them to recall them in an evening session and compared it to a morning session. They found that people did better on the morning test when they were rocked during sleep.

    Further studies on brain oscillations during sleep led the authors to conclude that continuous rocking motion helps to synchronise neural activity in the thalamo-cortical networks of the brain, which play an important role in both sleep and memory consolidation.

    A second study(2), this time on mice, found that the animals which had their vestibular system disrupted, experienced none of the beneficial effects of rocking during sleep.

    The findings may be relevant for the development of new approaches for treating patients with insomnia and mood disorders, as well as older people, who frequently suffer from poor sleep and memory impairments.

    Source: Cell Press. "Rocking motion improves sleep and memory, studies in mice and people show." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2019.

    1. Perrault et al. Whole-Night Continuous Rocking Entrains Spontaneous Neural Oscillations with Benefits for Sleep and Memory. Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.028

    1. Kompotis et al. Rocking Promotes Sleep in Mice through Rhythmic Stimulation of the Vestibular System. Current Biology, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.007

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  • 23 May 2019 13:57 | Anonymous

    This research review*, published in Nature, considers sensory impairments that have the potential to serve as early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with a focus on olfaction, hearing and vision.

    The author notes that olfaction currently shows the greatest promise of all sensory biomarkers of AD; odour identification impairment predicts conversion to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in cognitively normal individuals and conversion to AD in patients with amnestic MCI, and shows substantial relationships with other biomarkers of AD.

    *Claire Murphy,  “Olfactory and other sensory impairments in Alzheimer disease,” Nature Reviews Neurology 15, 11–24 (2019). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41582-018-0097-5

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  • 23 May 2019 10:56 | Anonymous

    Those of you working in older adult care settings may be interested in this research*, published last year, which looked at care workers’ experience of and views on implementing the recommendations from the Adolescent / Adult Sensory Profile (A/ASP), (a test of sensory ability).

    This qualitative study comprised the pilot testing of the A/ASP at five municipal residential dementia units in Denmark. The sensory abilities of 30 residents were assessed by a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist, who then made individual recommendations for the resident and presented these to the health care provider in charge of handing over the information to the rest of the staff. Implementation of the recommendations was observed and care workers were subsequently interviewed.

    The study found some positive impact of the A/ASP recommendations: care providers reported that, by following the recommendations, it made it easier for them to manage the residents during everyday activities, such as meals and bathing, and also helped in creating a better relationship with residents.

    Several of the health care providers found it surprising how residents responded to their new ways of interacting. From the care providers’ perspective, the use of physical force during the testing period had decreased as a result of using the recommendations derived from the A/ASP.

    There were challenges too:  the care workers who had attended meetings with therapists about the A/ASP felt more informed and better equipped to use the A/ASP recommendations compared to those who only received the recommendations via their colleagues. Care workers also reported that sharing that information with other colleagues and tailoring recommendations to the individual and context was time-consuming and not always possible.

    The authors concluded that, whilst the study showed that the A/ASP is a useful tool and helps care workers to better understand and manage changes in the behaviour of people living with dementia, the practicalities of sharing and using the information in a care setting need further attention.

    *Maiken Bay Ravn, Tinna Klingberg, and Kirsten Schultz Petersen, “The Adult Sensory Profile™ in Care Homes Targeting People Diagnosed with Dementia: A Qualitative Study from the Care Provider Perspective,” Rehabilitation Research and Practice, vol. 2018, Article ID 5091643, 7 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5091643.

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  • 20 May 2019 14:45 | Anonymous

    Each month of our Jubilee year, we’re focusing on a different sensory-related theme. In May, our focus is on older adults and sensory integration. We’d like to share a valuable little booklet called Dementia and Sensory Challenges, distributed by the Life Changes Trust.

    This project was instigated by Agnes Houston, who lives with dementia, and who wanted to raise awareness of how to live a positive life with dementia and sensory challenges.

    The author, Agnes Houston, says:

    “I was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type nine years ago. I expected the memory issues, but when I started to have sensory challenges I did not know what was going on. While campaigning I have had the privilege to speak to others with dementia and discovered I was not alone.

    “Others had these issues but very little had been written about them, so in desperation I decided to write a booklet in the hope of enlightening others to the sensory challenges some people with dementia may face.”

    You can download the leaflet here.

    There’s also an accompanying video of people living with dementia explaining in their own words how it feels and how they can be helped.

    See more from our EmphaSIze Newsletter 

  • 29 Apr 2019 15:00 | Anonymous

    We’re delighted to award bursaries of £500 to three of our Advanced SI Practitioner members who have each had their abstracts accepted for European Sensory Integration Congress 2019, which is being held in Thessaloniki this June. We hope the bursaries will assist in covering the travel and accommodation costs of presenting at this prestigious event.

    Our successful bursary recipients are:


    Rebecca Matson

    Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

    Delfryn, Cygnet Healthcare, Wales, UK

    “My abstract is based around the case study I completed for my SI Module 4. It focuses on a patient with borderline personality disorder and a significant history of trauma during childhood, looking at how some of the presenting difficulties were potentially due to changes in sensory processing resulting from this and how engagement in ASI sessions helped begin to change this and support overall regulation and engagement.”

    Angeliki Drougka

    Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

    Exelixi Therapy Center Argos, Greece

    “The title of my oral presentation is ‘Let’s talk about what living with anxiety is like. Linking Sensory Processing and Anxiety in clinical and healthy populations: findings from a recent Systematic Literature Review.’

    “The focus of the presentation will be on the demonstration of findings from a Systematic Review of primary evidence, completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for my MSc in SI.

    “The aim of the Systematic Review was to explore all the possible associations between sensory processing disorders and anxiety/anxiety disorders. Methodology, implications for practice and future research and main limitations will be illustrated. I will also share real-life stories of patients and family members dealing with sensory problems and anxiety and discuss my personal approach to managing the impact of these conditions, at home, in the clinic and across health services.”


    Alison Double

    Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

    University of Worcester

     “My abstract considers ‘How can football stadiums be more autism friendly?’”

    As an organisation, Sensory Integration Education is committed to supporting the development of early career SI researchers by providing financial, recruitment and dissemination support. You can find out more about our Research Grants Awards here.

    ESIC 2019 will focus on how sensory processing translates into everyday activities and quality of life. We’ll be reporting live from the congress - let us know if you’re attending so we can say hello!

  • 03 Apr 2019 23:41 | Anonymous

    Welcome to this Spring edition of EmphaSIze.  It is World Autism Awareness Week 1-7 April 2019 so several of this month’s features are linked to Autism.

    We have brought our members some great new offers this month: 10% discount from our preferred suppliers including Southpaw, Rompa and Chewigem. Plus a new Early Bird Offer: secure your course bookings early and save an extra 5% discount on course fees!

    Congratulations to Laura who answered the March question, and won a £25 Amazon voucher.

    Cathy Warne, Editor

  • 20 Mar 2019 13:16 | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to report that SI Module 3: Clinical Reasoning and Practice in Sensory Integration: Intervention online is now underway with a large cohort of students from 12 different countries moving forward from the interpretive skills they acquired in SI Module 2 Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment, to engage with goal setting and SI interventions across the lifespan.

    In addition to the interactive and engaging online content, the students will undertake 30 hours of clinical practice. Their academic learning is supported by our team of Advanced Practitioner Module e-Mentors and mentoring is provided by Clinical Mentors.

    Upon successful completion, the student’s knowledge and skills will cohere with those identified at Practitioner level in the proposed ICEASI framework, and they will have achieved an academic PG Certificate and be entitled to use the title SIE SI Practitioner.

    We wish all our students the very best of luck for the module.

    Dr Sylvia Taylor-Goh

    Director of Postgraduate Education

    Sensory Integration Education

  • 18 Mar 2019 15:49 | Anonymous

    I have been a Researcher at Middletown Centre for Autism since completing a Doctorate in Life and Health Sciences at The University of Ulster in 2014. Prior to this I completed a degree in occupational therapy and a foundation degree in art and design. During this time, I became increasingly interested in children's sensory processing.

    However, it wasn’t until I began working in Middletown Centre for Autism that I truly appreciated how sensory processing and integration treatment significantly improves the lives of many young people with autism and their families.

    I work alongside very experienced SI trained therapists and through my research I have directly witnessed the impact SI treatment has on an individual’s ability to access educational and social ‘norms’. As a result of this research, we have created online resources for teachers and parents of children with autism. These free open access resources are available from our website and give us the opportunity to:

    • Increase awareness within the education sector of the impact sensory processing and integration issues have on children with autism and their ability to access the curriculum. 
    • Support learning and understanding of sensory needs and appropriate sensory strategies for young people with autism both at home and in school.
    Developing the Sensory Resource and others has encouraged me to continue my education and understanding of SI. I have recently enrolled for Module 1 of the SI course to enhance my knowledge for practice and am looking forward to learning new skills.

    Rachel Ferguson, Researcher, Middletown Centre for Autism

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Sensory Integration Education, Old Breedon School, 8 Reading Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7LY, UK


We are a not for profit organisation. SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd trading as Sensory Integration Education. Established 1994.

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