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 News and Updates

  • 19 Nov 2019 12:00 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Cathy Maguire, Director of Member Services and Conference Chair for the SIE Autumn Conference extends her gratitude to all the delegates, those who followed the event via social media, the speakers, staff and everyone who helped make the event another sell-out success:

    “Sensory Integration Education has been delivering high quality, sensory integration training for 25 years now and this weekend we celebrated our silver jubilee birthday with an action-packed Sensory Integration Education Conference held at Aston University Conference Centre in Birmingham, UK.

    “My take-home messages from the day are many and include:

    “We have an amazingly strong, vibrant, knowledgeable and inclusive community of practice that people value greatly and are proud to be part of.

    “We have huge talent within our professional community and wonderful work is being carried out by clinicians and researchers in the UK.

    “There is immense energy within this community – people want to connect, share interprofessional dialogue and support, and to feel well-supported by others in the community of practice too.

    “Undertaking the accredited SI practitioner training pathway has opened up some inspiring career and research opportunities for speakers and conference delegates alike, as evidenced by the content of the presentations and conversations held with delegates throughout the day.

    “Students are appreciative of the Outstanding Student Bursary Awards.

    “The research grants offered are enabling members to complete projects and attend conferences they would not be able to do otherwise.

    “We all have a responsibility to work, both individually and collectively, to build on the wonderful legacy of the early SI pioneers, advance the evidence base, and pass on our own knowledge to those with whom we come into contact.

    “Sensory integration really does change people’s lives as evidenced by the case studies and powerful testimonies from service users shared in the presentations.

    “Finally, thank you to all the speakers and attendees for making this year’s conference such a memorable learning and networking experience. We are already starting to think about next year’s conference so watch out for announcements!”

    Best wishes

    Cathy Maguire

    Director of Member Services and Conference Chair

    Sensory Integration Education

  • 19 Nov 2019 10:03 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Delegates at the SIE Autumn Conference 2019, held in Birmingham, were updated on the EASI normative data collection project by the UK and Ireland regional lead Kath Smith. You can read more on the presentation here

    The development and distribution of the new EASI (Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration) test is one of the transformational Ayres’ Sensory Integration (ASI) 2020 Vision goals. Next year marks what would have been the 100th birthday of the pioneer of sensory integration, Dr A Jean Ayres. To commemorate this milestone, the international SI community proposed this ASI 2020 Vision:

    “Ayres Sensory Integration will have a strong, international presence with demonstrated scholarship, means for valid, comprehensive assessment and pathways for training to ensure the ongoing development, standards of excellence and effective implementation of this important work.”

    Ensuring effective intervention through comprehensive assessment in ASI

    The purpose of the EASI is to provide a valid and reliable set of tests for assessing key sensory integration functions which underlie learning, behaviour, and participation. The EASI measures sensory perception, postural/ocular/bilateral motor integration, praxis, and sensory reactivity, in a manner that minimises the influences of culture, language comprehension, and prior experience. The EASI tests are designed for children 3-12 years of age and will be made available to appropriately trained professionals in a low-cost and accessible format.

    Delegates at the SIE Autumn Conference had the opportunity to examine and try out the contents of an EASI Kit, which, with the exception of the specialist 3D pieces, are all available from the high street and online stores.

    The initial development plan for the EASI is to collect international normative data on children 3-12 years of age. The long-range plan is to expand the items and normative sample so that the EASI can be used to assess sensory integration across the lifespan, in a low-cost and accessible format.

    Therapists interested in supporting the data collection project in their local area can find out more here

    The UK and Ireland teams are listed here  and information on the international leads are available from the Ayres 2020 Vision Facebook page .

  • 18 Nov 2019 11:25 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Sensory Integration Education launched its latest Impact Report, charting progress against its founding not-for-profit aims, at the SIE Autumn Conference 2019.

    Rosalid Rogers, Chair of Board of Directors, SIE, commented:

    “Our watchword this year has been ‘investment’: investment in enhancing the provision of a university-accredited, fully-accessible MSc pathway to SI Practitioner status and Advanced Practitioner status; investment in researchers working at the coalface of SI therapy; and investment in getting more articles, research, first-person stories and resources out to the global SI community of practitioners, students, end-users, parents, carers and teachers than ever before.”

    “We may be 25 years old but we hold fast to the original purpose upon which we were founded: to promote education, good practice and research into the theory and practice of Ayres' Sensory Integration (ASI).”

    You can read the full report here.

  • 31 Oct 2019 15:32 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    In celebration of our Silver Jubilee Year, we are delighted to announce the launch of an online register of all our students who have gained qualifications on our sensory integration modular pathway.

    Check your free entry

    The Association of SI Practitioners’ Register is free, searchable, and will enable the public and potential employers to check who has attained a UK-university-accredited qualification in Ayres’ Sensory Integration (PGCert and above). You can search by SI qualification and practitioner-status, name, country and occupation.

    You can check your listing here. Your contact details are not made public unless you choose this option. If you need to amend your details, please email us at support@sensoryintegration.org.uk.

    With each SI Module you complete, we will automatically update your listing on the register with your latest qualification.

    As a special bonus, our Gold Members can also add their website, contact number and photo to their listing for free - something members in private practice may be particularly interested in. See instructions on how to do this below.*

    The direct link to the Association of SI Practitioners’ Register is: https://www.sensoryintegration.org.uk/ASIP-Register and can also be found on the main menu at the top of our website.

    The Association of SI Practitioners is a clinical community offering additional professional benefits to SI practitioners who qualify via the SIE Sensory Integration Modular Pathway. We’ll be announcing more details in 2020.

    *For SIE Gold Members: Instructions on how to add contact details to your listing on the Association of SI Practitioners’ Register

    • Log in to the www.sensoryintegration.org.uk as normal.
    • Click on the person icon on the top right of the page and choose ‘View profile’.
    • At the very bottom of the profile details list, add in your contact number and/or website/photo. These will then show on the SI Practitioner Register.
  • 17 Oct 2019 13:58 | SIE News (Administrator)

    We are delighted to host paediatric occupational therapist Emma Jerman, who will be sharing her knowledge of Aquatic SI and Attachment Play in Water at the Sensory Integration Education Autumn Conference in Birmingham, UK (16 November 2019).

    Emma is an experienced occupational therapist and accredited Advanced SI Practitioner. She has additionally completed Halliwick Aquatic Therapy Training and works with children with a range of disabilities, as well as looked-after children and newly adopted children with their new parents and carers.

    Delegates at the SIE Autumn Conference will hear how Emma employs both the principles of sensory integration therapy and sensory attachment therapy within the pool setting. The pool offers extra sensory properties that may not be replicable on land, with the water offering 30 times more pressure than air and providing a unique full-body pressure experience that many clients find calming and organising. Moving around in the water also creates controlled vestibular stimulation and provides opportunities for working on enhanced proprioceptive and tactile feedback.

    Research continues to support the concept that water is an ideal medium in which to rehabilitate the body, as well as develop oral motor and breathing control. Aquatic SI therapy focuses on therapeutic, play-based functional activities in water, that can help with many areas of difficulties associated with sensory integration or processing. Why not come along to this event to listen to her speak?

    See the full conference programme here with details of how to book your place.

  • 17 Oct 2019 11:45 | SIE News (Administrator)

    A: There is a clear relationship between ADHD and poor sleep. Individuals with ADHD often experience difficulties with falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up in the morning.

    The website Understood lists the following tendencies amongst children with ADHD that can stop them from getting a good night’s sleep:

    • Difficulties with self-regulation can stop children with ADHD from moving from ‘active mode’ to ‘wind-down mode’ at the end of the day
    • Children with ADHD can be more prone to nightmares, bedwetting and sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome
    • Tasks, such as homework, may have been put off until the last minute, creating a hectic evening
    • Teenagers with ADHD may report feeling more productive during quiet nighttime hours and so can easily fall into the habit of staying up too late too often
    • Many children with ADHD also have anxiety problems. Their anxious feelings can emerge at night when there are fewer activities to distract them. This causes them to have trouble falling or staying asleep

    Here are some tips on supporting the sleeping pattern of your child with ADHD:

    Keep track of your child’s sleep patterns

    By monitoring your child’s individual sleep patterns, feeling tired during the day, etc, you may be able to spot specific triggers.

    Encourage physical activity after school

    Whether it’s sports, physical play, sensory-based play or an active hobby, getting enough exercise contributes to better sleeping habits. Be sure that you leave enough time after physical activities to allow the body to calm down before beginning the bedtime routine.

    Help your child plan and prioritise homework tasks

    The team at Understood suggest using checklists for homework to help your child keep on top of their homework and complete it well before bedtime.

    Create and maintain a bedtime routine

    This appears like an obvious idea, however, it is very successful when put in place effectively. A consistent routine assists in prompting the brain to feel relaxed and ready for sleep. A sleep routine includes getting ready in sleepwear, going to bed at typically the same time each weeknight, doing a calming, wind-down activity and then bedtime. Some children find bedtime checklists helpful.

    Maintain a consistent bedtime

    In her guide on improving sleep for children with ADHD, OT Alescia Ford-Lanza recommends keeping bedtime within a half hour time period each night. For example, setting bedtime between 9 and 9:30pm each night (or whatever is appropriate to your child) gives some room for flexibility but maintains the routine, which is critical.

    Limit screen time

    Set limits on how late your child is allowed to use a screen. There are concerns that the blue light emitted from screens on phones and tablets can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin.

    Find a calming strategy that works for your child

    Calming strategies are a supportive way to enable your body to relax and settle before sleep. Everyone will have their own activity that works for them, for example, taking a warm bath, reading, listening to calming music, etc.

    Avoid caffeine

    Avoid food and drink that contains caffeine (eg, chocolate) as far as possible and particularly from the late afternoon onwards.

    Consider the sensory experience of the environment

    Environmental modification can support your child’s sleep. This can include using blackout blinds to keep the bedroom dark; using a white noise machine to block out distracting sounds; using a thermostat to steady the room temperature; perhaps using a weighted blanket or heavier blankets at the foot of the bed, etc . These preferences will be individual to your child’s preferences.

    Include any sleep problems when discussing your child’s diagnosis with their doctor or therapist. This is where your notes on your child’s sleeping and waking habits will be very useful.

  • 11 Oct 2019 11:07 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Would you like to learn more about the shared ground of yoga and sensory integration therapy? And how yoga poses and exercises can complement SI therapy to help improve the lives of children with difficulties with sensory processing and integration? We’re thrilled to have Mel Campbell, Occupational Therapist and an Advanced SI Practitioner speaking on this topic at the Sensory Integration Education Autumn Conference in Birmingham, UK (16 November 2019).

    Mel Campbell has been an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years. During her journey, she took some time out to bring up her children and found herself studying yoga as a way of developing her own self-practice. This led her to becoming a teacher in yoga.

    Returning to her profession as an OT after her break, she found herself drawn to the study of sensory integration. She has always been interested in neurology and fascinated by the brain and this approach seemed to make so much sense to her. The more she studied the theory of sensory integration, the more she found her two worlds of being a yoga teacher and an advanced sensory integration practitioner merging.

    Mel has completed Sensory Integration Education’s MSc in Sensory Integration with Ulster University and chose “Exploring Yoga as a Sensory Based Intervention for Children with Sensory Processing Difficulties: A Systematic Literature Review” for her MSc dissertation topic

    She is also a published author of the book “The Yoga of Pregnancy” and has created a Sensory Processing Yoga DVD which shows yoga techniques for alerting, calming, motor planning, postural stability, breathing and guided relaxation.

    See the full conference programme here with details of how to book your place.

  • 30 Sep 2019 16:13 | SIE Support (Administrator)

    As Sensory Integration Education’s SI practitioner training pathway is accredited by Ulster University, the SIE/Ulster Education team have been given early access to Sensory Integration Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition. We are privileged and very excited to be able to review this long-awaited book for our students ahead of general UK publication on 30th October. Here is a brief snapshot of our initial impressions:

    • The book aims to capture the evolution of SI theory and practice since the 2nd edition was published in 2002.
    • It recognises that “changing the brain matters, but only if those changes contribute to making everyday life easier and more meaningful”, and so it gives greater focus to SI in everyday life than previous editions.
    • It sets out to clarify the terminology associated with SI and the principles of intervention.
    • A new chapter traces the history and journey of SI from Dr Jean Ayres to the present and two new chapters are devoted to the evidence base.
    • The chapters on praxis and sensory modulation have been expanded, as has the chapter on the structure and function of the sensory systems. This includes a new section on interoception.
    • Sensory discrimination is now discussed in a separate chapter.
    • The assessment section reintroduces a chapter on the SIPT and includes chapters on clinical observations and assessing without the SIPT, as well as an updated and expanded chapter on interpreting test results.
    • In the intervention section SI therapy is labelled as ‘a direct intervention with particular characteristics” and a new chapter is included to discuss the Fidelity Measure and also the STEP-SI and A SECRET models.
    • Chapters on the art and science of sensory integration therapy have been retained and extensively updated.
    • New chapters on coaching and looking at intervention through different lenses have been added.
    • The chapter on sensory-based interventions has been retained and updated extensively.
    • The question of whether SI therapy is effective theory is considered throughout the text and we are reminded that researchers who only consider the “science” of SI and not the “art” of SI as well are failing to test the effectiveness of the intervention approach.

    We can see that the new book is rich in case study examples and also includes some lovely new features including “Here’s the Point”, “Here’s the Evidence” and “Where Can I Find More?” summaries.

    We can’t wait to explore the text further and will share our updates with you as we do. Aimed at therapists, this is definitely a book we would recommend.

    Lelanie Brewer, Head of Education Programmes and Cathy Maguire, Lead Module e-Mentor

    Win A Copy Of SI Theory And Practice 3rd Edition At Our Autumn Conference Prize Draw!

    As part of our Silver Jubilee Celebrations we are offering the opportunity to win a free copy of the long-awaited SI Theory and Practice 3rd Edition to anyone who attends our 2019 Autumn Conference. The Prize Draw will take place at the event along with other exciting celebrations to mark this very special occasion. Book your place now to enter the draw.

  • 27 Sep 2019 12:21 | SIE News (Administrator)

    A: Children with sensory issues often need extra help to learn to ride a bike as it involves quickly planning and carrying out movements on an unstable bike. There could be several reasons your daughter is finding cycling challenging: she may experience gravitational insecurity, poor balance, or may have motor co-ordination difficulties associated with sensory integration difficulties. A qualified sensory integration therapist would be able assess and explore with you exactly what is contributing to your daughter’s difficulties and what to work on.

    Other simple ways you can help are:

    • Introduce a simpler piece of equipment such as a balance bike or a 3-wheeled scooter. These are more stable so she will feel more grounded but will still practice the necessary bilateral movements which will help her when she is ready to move onto something less stable.
    • Encourage her to try equipment in playgrounds where her feet come off the ground, eg, swings, zip lines, fireman’s pole, monkey bars, etc. If you can, model feeling nervous and giving it a try yourself so she can see what to do. You can also grade the activity, eg, cross just one monkey bar or go halfway on the zip line first, to ensure she gets a sense of achievement and she’s motivated to have another go.
    • When she’s ready to try the bike again, make any adjustments relevant to her needs, eg, replace the saddle with a bigger one that is more padded or covered in a different textured material. Until she’s more confident, reduce the height of the seat so her feet can be flat on the ground when standing.
    • Try breaking down the skill of cycling into steps. You could initially remove the pedals and use it as a balance bike while she gets used to the sensation of balancing. Then get her to use the brakes to slow and stop the bike before putting her feet down. Then introduce steering. When you reintroduce the pedals, get her to put her feet on them whilst you push the bike so she can get used the movements and sensations.
    • Focus on and celebrate all the small achievements she makes, eg, “Wow, you went really fast on you scooter today!”, so she can build up her confidence. When you feel she is ready for something a little more challenging involve her in discussing it and deciding what to try next.
    • Be patient and don’t pressure her: there’s no rush.

    Good luck!

    Have you got an SI question for us related to ADHD? Drop us an email and your question could feature in the next edition of EmphaSIze.

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