As a speech and language therapist, SI intervention is not our traditional method of therapy to elicit improved language skills or attention for interaction; however, my case study from my recent Module 4 course showed gains in language and interactional skills. I had embarked on a steep learning curve in September 2014, heading into Module 1 (classroom) with terms like reference list, literature search, neuroscience, etc. freaking me out somewhat!
I coped, and completed SI Module 2/3 (classroom) then SI Module 5 and SI Module 6 (online) prior to SI Module 4 (classroom).
Beginning SI 4 in Sept ‘17 was the push I needed to embark on therapy. I was very fortunate to have an OT colleague, Lisa, within the same directorate, who had completed this module a year before me. We worked together requisitioning specific equipment and identifying a clinic space locally. It has suitably safe adult-sized space where we can encourage people’s intrinsic motivation to play, explore and experiment; and our service users can feel success from the way we as skilled therapists can scaffold and support them in their sessions. Our clinic room has more equipment than before we are close to getting suspension points fixed into the ceiling which will increase our sensory options and enable us to provide ASI with adherence to the Fidelity measure.
Using our energy and enthusiasm in this part of Scotland – the launch of a local network for therapists and other professionals interested in sensory processing and integration seemed the obvious next step. We launched the network in April 2018 sharing our hour-long case study presentations and had some discussion around the use of specific equipment to support emotional self-regulation. Our presentations created much excitement and interest and therapists appeared hungry for more. There was overwhelming support for meeting 2-3 times a year to explore different aspects of sensory processing and integration. Our second network half-day took place in November, again well supported.
My plan going forward involves supporting the local network; signing up to do my Masters project in the coming academic year; applying to publish my recent article I have written as a single case study, while doing my regular day job of assessing, diagnosing and treating the referrals who come in for communication and dysphagia support. My proposal is for a qualitative study on gaining caregiver perceptions of the impact of this type of therapy on individuals’ interactions, reductions in challenging behaviours, improved social communication and increased positive time spent with their communication partners. The outcomes I seek are communication and social outcomes, measuring changes that caregivers can notice. Clinical impact is more than a number on an assessment scale; caregivers need to see functional change.
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner
As an organisation, Sensory Integration Education is committed to supporting the development of early career SI researchers by providing financial, recruitment and dissemination support.
With this goal in mind, we are delighted to announce that we are making £500 bursary awards available for students who have been or who are enrolled on the Ulster University Masters Module in Sensory Integration in the academic year of 2017/18 and/or 2018/19 and who have their abstracts accepted by the ESIC 2019 Scientific Committee. But, hurry, the deadline for submission to ESIC is Monday 14 January 2019.
ESIC 2019 will focus on how sensory processing translates into everyday activities and quality of life. The ESIC 2019 Scientific Committee has issued a call for individual papers, roundtable submissions and posters. Proposals are accepted in English and Greek and should address the conference theme.
Students submitting abstracts must be able to attend the conference, held in Thessaloniki in June 2019, to present their paper in person.
Students can only submit one paper proposal per individual. Send your proposal (maximum of 250 words) and a one-page CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 14 January 2019.
To be eligible for the Sensory Integration Education £500 bursary, you must have been or are enrolled on the Ulster University Masters Module in SI in the academic year of 2017/18 and/or 2018/19 AND have your abstract accepted by the ESIC 2019 Scientific Committee. Successful students should contact email@example.com to apply for the bursary.
EUROPEAN SENSORY INTEGRATION CONGRESS (ESIC)
20-22 June 2019
"Translating Sensory Processing into Quality of Life in Various Environments"
Hosted by: The Hellenic Scientific Society for Sensory Integration
Venue: Macedonia Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki.
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.”
My name is Alison Dear and I’m a Speech and Language Therapist. My workplace is a special school in Luton and many of the pupils on my caseload have an additional diagnosis of autism and or ADHD.
I began the Sensory Integration Network’s modular pathway in 2011. Although I only planned to complete module 1, I immediately realised that the sensory integration perspective could help me understand some of my most complex clients. I completed my MSc. in sensory integration in 2017 and have been a mentor for both Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists in the Sensory Integration Network’s modular pathway.
My particular area of interest is the relationship between anxiety and sensory integration difficulties, particularly tactile and auditory hyperreactivity, which can be major barriers in developing communication and interaction skills. This was an area I explored for my MSc. which gave me an opportunity to consider literature from a wide range of sources. I was fascinated by the links between the auditory and tactile systems. Since attending and listening to presentations at the Network’s conference in November, I have also been asking myself questions about the relationship between sensory integration and attachment.
I use my SI knowledge on a daily basis. This may be in the process of assessing a pupil, delivering therapy or working with a class team. Taking a sensory perspective when supporting a class team can enable them to consider a student’s behaviour in a different way. This in turn can support them to develop a classroom environment where students are more able to engage.
Learning and continuing to learn about the process of sensory integration has become one of the most important parts of my working life - I can’t imagine a day without it!
Congratulations to over 100 Sensory Integration Education students who were awarded their MSc, PgDip or PgCert in Sensory Integration this week at Ulster University. The modular Master of Science in Sensory Integration course was the first, and remains the only, kind of its course in the world being a university-accredited pathway to SI practice with academic credits awarded for each module.
Aideen Ruttledge, Jannie Laverie and Emer Broderick attended the Ulster University Winter Graduation at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, on Monday 10 December 2018, where they were presented to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Nixon, for their award of Master of Science in Sensory Integration and to collect their certificates. Over 100 SIE students gained awards on the MSc SI modular pathway this week.
From left to right: Aideen Ruttledge, Jannie Laverie, Dr Greg Kelly, and Emer Broderick with her son Ronan.
We send hearty congratulations to all of the following students:
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SENSORY INTEGRATION
Emer Broderick, Gemma Carlier, Rachelle Curtis, Jannie Laverie, Kathryn Rowley, Aideen Ruttledge.
POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN SENSORY INTEGRATION
Sanjeev Badwal, Madeleine Dewis, Catherine Warne.
Frances Critchley, Signe Dimitriades, Rachel Swatton.
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN SENSORY INTEGRATION
Hannah Aitken, Leisa Allinson, Jemma Baker, Victoria Bayes, Karin Bayley, Debbie Bissell, Jennie Brooks, Rachael Busby, Nancy Buttling, Penny Calder, Carey-Anne Carlyon, Frances Clark, Sophie Cockell, Rebecca Collis, Keira Deane, Rachel Deighton, Elizabeth-Ann Erasmus, Caroline Finch, Rowena Fox, Susannah Giles, Abigail Hancock, Kiera Haughley, Melissa Homer, Emily Kellett, Claire King, Katy Kitson, Emily Kobelis, Felicity Marriott, Alicia Marzahn, Susan McGill, Lucy McGregor, Katherine McSweeney, Eveline Milne, Laura Murray, Ricky Netting, Una O’Farrell, Hollie Patroni, Claire Portener, Catriona Power, Fiona Prior, Lucy Robertshaw, Donna Susan Ross, Elisheva Salomon, Rebecca Seaman, Jennifer Shorter, Sarah Skinner, Emily Stiles, Janice Thorne, Dianne Waters, Alexa Wilcock, Natasha Woollard.
Carla Atkins, Charlotte Axton, Sarah Barker, Jennifer Beal, Paul Bloomfield, Sophie Brummell, Amanda Byrne, Jennifer Champion, Aranzazu Cobo-Gines, Amanda Ebdon, Fiona Evriviades, Rachael Gartland, Kerry Grady, Rhona Harkness, Joanne Harries, Jamie Hooper, Nicola Jenkins, Shirley Jones, Chantelle Lambert, Hannah Learner, Emma Lynne, Donna McElhinney, Caroline Elizabeth McGloin, Justine McManus, Catherine M’Crystal-Fletcher, Sandi O’Neill, Julia Pollock, Louise Reid, Debra Robinson, Faith Rollins, Teresa Jane Ryan, Warren Sandells, Malene Sogaard, Rachael Thompson, Christine Tout, Rosana Tuck, Alice Ward, Lesley Wilson, Katie Witt.
Nimet Altiok, Debra Divell, Louise Holdsworth, Danielle Longden, Helen Mason, Ela Powezka, Mary Read.
“An International Journey of Innovation, Identification and Intervention in ASI®"
The countdown has commenced to the International Sensory Integration Congress. The call for papers is now open, and Dr. Anita Bundy has been announced as Chairperson, with Professor Shelly J. Lane as a keynote speaker.
“Translating Sensory Processing into Quality of Life in Various Environments”
Call for papers now open, with Dr. Erna Imperatore Blanche, Paivi Danner, and Dr. Sharon Cermak announced as speakers.
A great fidget toy for tactile and visual feedback.
This colour changing LED message board is a great way to record messages or notes.
For a more intense tactile experience, try this water bead foot spa.
Challenge your balance with these intensive vestibular shoes.
Use this black out tent as a space to chill out and regulate during the busy Christmas day.
No need for good weather with this indoor swing.
Revive tired feet with this crackling cooling foot spray.
Be transported to a new world with this virtual reality headset.
Add some Christmas sparkle to your living room with these gorgeously tactile reversible sequin fabric cushions.
This great family game focuses on oral motor skills in a fun and unique way!
Merry Christmas to all of our readers! We have lots for you in this month’s edition of EmphaSIze, including some great feedback and content contributions from delegates at the Sensory Integration Education’s Autumn Conference. We also have the annual return of our “Sensory Christmas Present list” - a firm favourite with our readers.
Well done to Kate who provided an in depth and clear answer to last month’s question on sleep. Why not have a look at this month’s question and see if you can help? Send us your suggestions and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.
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The day taught me many things, including the importance of co-regulation from Éadaoin Bhreathnach and Chris West during their talk on Sensory Attachment Intervention. It certainly was extraordinary to hear from each speaker the profound effect that the SAI course has had in relation to their own practice. Following this I discovered the ‘Just Right State Programme’ for the first time from Tessa Scully, something I feel would be useful for clients in my current setting.
In the afternoon Natalie Power articulately and passionately shared her own journey of SI and the impact it has had on work in CAMHS. The talks on using SI from a physiotherapy and speech and language perspective (by Emma Snowdon and Amy Stephens) were both highly engaging and enlightening for me. As the day came to a close, I listened to Sue Delport speak about her national study and the upcoming EASI tool. The future developments in the evidence and quality of assessment in ASI are exciting!
Throughout the day I listened and spoke to therapists using sensory integration from different clinical and professional backgrounds the key message that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ kept hitting home and I left feeling informed, inspired and grateful to be part of such a driven community!
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.
Company registration no: 05068304 Copyright 2019