Accredited, high quality Ayres' SI Therapy courses
I graduated in OT from University of Ulster in 2000. My student placement in paediatrics ignited my interest in pursuing that specialism. It was during that placement that I observed the strength of multidisciplinary working as the OT and SLT delivered almost all intervention as a joint approach, using SI. This formed the foundation for my future clinical practice.
I commenced a post in special schools in 2001 and embraced the opportunity to be a health professional working within education. I worked closely with SLTs, teachers and assistants, often delivering joint intervention sessions. This allowed children to achieve therapeutic goals alongside curriculum targets. It was during this time that I completed my SI training which hugely enhanced my clinical practice with children with autism, ADHD, DCD developmental delays and learning difficulties. I became increasingly interested in how using an SI framework enhanced our team’s understanding of the behaviours observed in autism and how an SI based approach could support increased engagement in play, interaction and learning.
In 2008 I moved to Middletown Centre for Autism where I am employed as a Trainer/Advisor. My primary role is to deliver training in autism specific topics to parents and professionals, but as we work across departments, I am also involved in Research and in Learning Support and Assessment (LSA). This cross-departmental working enriches each part of my job. My experience of working with children and young people informs my training delivery, while involvement in research projects ensures I am using the most current evidence based practice in both my intervention work and my training sessions.
The LSA team works within a transdisciplinary model which includes teachers, OTs, SLTs and behaviour specialists. Team members work as coordinators for children and young people referred to the Centre, integrating the recommendations from the different professionals into a single Learning Support Plan which is implemented across home and school settings. This has given me experience in different intervention approaches for autism and how they can be integrated with SI based strategies to provide a cohesive approach to intervention and support, ensuring greater consistency for the person with autism, their family and school staff.
Jill McCanney, Autism Trainer/Advisor, Middletown Centre for Autism
What are the big questions that occupational therapists and people who use OT services want answered? The Royal College of Occupational Therapy is embarking,this month, on a major project to define the OT profession’s research priorities over the coming years.
As well as launching the RCOT Priority Settings Partnership (PSP) project, RCOT is looking for partners to help them engage with diverse and hard-to-reach audiences. Find out more here.
The latest issue of SensorNet is now available.
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Some of the features in this Spring edition of SensorNet edition include:
Remember that the easy click-on links in the magazine will put you directly in touch with the editorial team and we welcome feedback and ideas for future editions. Thank you to all our contributors for this edition.
The Sensory Integration Education Editorial Team
Prompted by a reader enquiry, this month we are focusing on transitions between childhood to adulthood, with links to SI. We hope you will find useful ideas among the featured items.
Congratulations to Belén who answered last month’s question. 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.
Click here to see our March edition of EmphaSIze - no need to log in!
My name is Pip Lenton. I am an OT and an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration. I work at a national specialist college for young people aged 18-25 who have learning and physical disabilities. Students come to us from school or sixth form and the transition process takes place in their last year of school.
The essential part of the process is collaboration of all the stakeholders in making the transition as individualised as possible. The college multi-disciplinary team looks at the application information to produce an intake plan. If an individual’s sensory needs are highlighted at this point, I would become more involved in the intake process before the individual comes to college. I will visit them at school and sometimes at home to begin the process of creating a sensory passport. I use published assessments, but conversations with the parents and carers of the young people can be especially pertinent, as our young people’s presentation is not easily captured within most standardised assessments.
Young adults have sometimes found ways of managing their sensory processing difficulties. Increasingly, young people are coming through transition having had their sensory processing difficulties recognised and addressed at school. The parents and carers have a good understanding of their young person’s needs and I am careful to capture this information and communicate it to education and care staff.
There are still some individuals with sensory processing issues that have not been identified prior to their intake assessment. Signifiers that can emerge through interview, indicating possible sensory processing issues, include a dislike of bright lights, difficulty dressing, clumsiness, difficulties with kerbs, difficulties with personal care, difficulties with transition and with being moved backwards in their wheelchair.
The college education staff have received basic training in the sensory systems and how difficulties with these can be addressed within the sessions. Curriculum subjects offer opportunities for activities which enhance an individual’s sensory processing. These include horse riding, trampolining, forest skills, horticulture and adventure film making. Our PMLD students have a curriculum which aims to deliver learning through making the most of their preferred sensory stimuli. For example, a session called Sensory Wellbeing in which we focus on promoting ways for individuals to experience proprioception, vestibular input and touch.
The OT role in the first term is to translate what we have learned in assessment into practical solutions for promoting their learning with the ultimate aim of finding appropriate activities to promote lifelong learning through purposeful activities which also address the individual’s sensory needs.
I am an Occupational Therapist and an SI Practitioner, completing my practitioner training in 2018. I work in a community multi-disciplinary team within Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust working with adults with learning disabilities.
Some of the sensory referral requests are for young adults transitioning from school to adult services. Sometimes they have had sensory profiles completed, but others may not have received any sensory assessments throughout their childhood. I have recently been working with a young woman in transition from children’s services. The OT role involved a sensory profile as part of an autism assessment, plus making links with her school, who had previously assessed her sensory needs. It was good to be able to compare results and ensure there is carry over to my client’s home life. Some strategies and equipment that are working at school, are not at home, as she compartmentalises her activities. So, my role is to provide education at home with her family and be creative to identify alternative sensory strategies to support her modulation needs.
It is very difficult when young adults leave the structured environment of a school. Often there are many changes to their lifestyle – new education facilities and/or daytime activity opportunities led by private providers and also possible move to new accommodation from their family homes. Where their sensory needs were being met in the structured school setting these key changes can upset their sensory balance in their new lifestyle and impact on how they interact and function in their daily life. With my client, I am also working on independence skills at home with personal care as the sensory assessment highlighted a sensory basis to her function, for example being able to tip her head back to wash her hair.
As I work in the community, I do not have access to an ASI clinic resource, so recommendations and interventions have to be creative looking at a person’s daily life, access to resources, supporting sensory diets and training and education with carers.
Pre-Congress Institute - Thessaloniki, Greece, June 20, 2019
Main Congress Proceedings - June 21– 22, 2019
Hosted by: The Hellenic Scientific Society for Sensory Integration
Venue: Makedonia Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki
In an era where people were mostly preoccupied with the architecture of some supposedly disengaged perceptual and rational abilities, Ayres visionary mindset was set on exploring the body’s engagement with the world.
The Sensory Integration framework is a participatory perspective on humans’ activity in daily life. The focus of this year’s congress will be on how sensory processing translates into everyday activities and Quality of Life.
See the full programme here.
See information for the conference exhibitors.
This month we focus on education and sensory integration with apps that can ease some challenges faced in schools by children with sensory processing difficulties, useful books, products, resources and journal articles.
Next month we will consider transitions between childhood and adulthood with links to SI. Suggestions for content from SIE members would be welcome.
Congratulations to Judy who answered last month’s question. 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.
Read the February Newsletter for free here - no need to log in!
2019 is a special year for us as it marks our Silver Jubilee! Throughout the year we’re going to be celebrating and marking this milestone in many different ways. Here are just a few of the many, exciting highlights we have planned:
My name is Abbi Richards, I am a Specialist Practitioner working with young people with Profound and Complex Learning Disabilities (PCLD). I work as part of a team developing and delivering a bespoke further education programme for 15 students aged 18-24 at Weston College, in North Somerset. All learners have previously attended specialist schools.
My interest in Sensory Integration started early in my career. I had seen the practice being used with a range of difficulties and witnessed the results first hand. I was given the opportunity, by the college, to undertake some training courses which increased my interest. I then found the modular pathway for Sensory Integration last year, and have been given the opportunity to undertake SI Module 1 online.
Many of the students who attend the programme, have previously been assessed by a Sensory Integration Occupational Therapist (OT) or have been referred. The benefits of having taken module 1 is the ability to give meaningful accounts of potential difficulties to the OT and being able to give clinical reasoning, hypothesise and discuss potential support methods. By having a deeper understanding, I am better able to deliver and adjust Sensory Integration (SI) theory and practice within the educational environment.
It is clear to see the benefits on a student’s ability to engage, participate and develop their skills in all areas of learning. The ultimate goal is to provide students with the knowledge of their own sensory needs and they being able to meet these in a safe and meaningful way. Leaving students further prepared for adulthood and being valued members of society, whether this means being able to complete daily living tasks, accessing the community or attending enrichment activities.
The hope is that once the SI theory and practice is embedded into the bespoke provision, I could support students with less complex learning difficulties and their lectures on higher level courses to manage their sensory needs and provide them with the tools to self-regulate and go on to voluntary or paid employment.
Member ResourcesSI Groups
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