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  • 25 Jan 2019 14:03 | Anonymous

    When taking up my first SEN teaching role 8 years ago, little did I know how much I was going to use my Occupational Therapy training. I am now a Senior Leader at a large mainstream school in London, and a large part of my time is spent supporting parents and teaching staff to consider the behaviors a child may be presenting outside the assumption that they are being naughty or are simply a fidget.

    In my first teaching role, I was lucky enough to be supervised by an experienced paediatric OT who was part of a team that promoted SI theory and had a clinic for children. (I am a dual qualified OT/teacher). She introduced me to the Sensory Integration Network and I attended the SI Network’s 1 day introduction course around 7 years ago and became fascinated and wanted to know more. The theory seemed to explain much of what I was seeing in my daily practice and even better, offered therapeutic, evidence based, solutions.

    I booked on to the SI level 1 course and headed to Birmingham for a week to study with incredibly knowledgeable lecturers and learn more about the theory. I have been able to use this learning to support what I see day to day and all of the strategies that I know have worked in the past with other children to support putting adaptions in place in classrooms so that we have an inclusive school environment. I even lead a project about making classrooms universally sensory friendly. I am delighted that the modules are now online, as like many of you, finding the time to spend two weeks in Birmingham has proved so far impossible for me with a busy home and work life. But I am hoping that 2019 will be the year that I continue my SI journey.

    Kate Bradley

  • 21 Jan 2019 13:55 | Anonymous

    Never Stop LearningA UK working group of health and social care professional bodies has published a new set of principles for continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning.  

    The five new principles agreed by the group, which includes the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, are that CPD and Lifelong Learning should:

    1. be each person’s responsibility and be made possible and supported by your employer

    2. benefit the service users

    3. improve the quality of service delivery

    4. be balanced and relevant to each person’s area of practice or employment

    5. be recorded and show the effect on each person’s area of practice

    Lelanie Brewer, OT and Head of Education Programmes at Sensory Integration Education, said: “We welcome these new CPD principles, particularly the emphasis on improving the quality of service delivery and a focus on the ultimate benefit to patients. Our university-accredited sensory integration courses for therapists more than meet these principles as we help to create a global network of clinicians, highly skilled in assessing and treating people with sensory integration issues.”

    Download the “Compatible with Principles for continuing professional development and lifelong learning in health and social care, Prepared by: The Interprofessional CPD and Lifelong Learning UK Working Group” here.

  • 18 Jan 2019 00:22 | Anonymous


    Are you working towards becoming an accredited Ayres’ Sensory Integration Practitioner? If you’ve already completed the first module (SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience), you’re now eligible to move on to online SI Module 2: Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment.

    There are still some places left for the March cohort but registration ends on 25 February 2019 so you’ll need to hurry if you don’t want to miss out:

    (02N04) Online SI Module 2 Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment: 25 March 2019

    SI Module 2 focuses on giving you the tools and knowledge to assess using the Ayres’ Sensory Integration framework. You will explore the patterns of sensory integration dysfunction, sensory integration models and the principles and practice of assessment. You will develop clinical reasoning skills and the ability to synthesise assessment information as relevant to sensory integration. By the end of the module, you will be able to plan an intervention from synthesising case history and assessment data.

    Remember that every module of our practitioner pathway, leading right up to an MSc Degree in SI, is accredited by the internationally-renowned Ulster University. Every CPD-certified module carries transferable, real academic credits and the qualifications are recognised internationally. As a member of ICE-ASI, the Sensory Integration Education SI Modules already exceed the forthcoming international standards for SI practitioners. Enrol today.

    Wondering how this module fits into your pathway to practice as an accredited SI Practitioner? See our ebrochure on Sensory Integration Practitioner Training that explains it all.

    Sensory Integration Education Team

    PS. Remember that Gold and Silver Members receive a 25% discount on course prices. Plus, if you or your employer prefer to buy a bundle of modules, there’s a further 10% discount on top of that.

    PPS. Here’s what previous students have said about this course:

    Anna Koppenhout, Therapist: “I found the online teaching excellent with the high standard of visuals and case examples and useful video material.... The price made it more accessible without the costs of travel and accommodation or missing too much time from work as I am self-employed.”

    Vanessa Taylor, Therapist: “I would highly recommend it. I would specifically recommend that you be as active as possible, do all the recommended tasks, post these on the forum, review others comments and try to engage in discussions with others as it really adds to your reasoning ability.”

    SI Module 2 Student, Therapist: “You will be closely supported and encouraged whenever you ask for help, you my feel - as I do - that your approach to assessment, your view on ASI as forming a holistic approach and your ability to communicate with clients has been revolutionised. It’s demanding but transformative to complete this module… The standard of presentation materials was excellent.”


  • 15 Jan 2019 14:31 | Anonymous

    The European Sensory Integration Congress (ESIC) has extended the deadline for its call for papers to 31 January 2019.

    Remember 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.

    Successful students should contact support@sensoryintegration.org.uk to apply for the bursary.


  • 01 Jan 2019 11:49 | Anonymous

    We wish a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all our readers.

    Recent editions of EmphaSIze have focused on Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy in line with national and international professional ‘days’. This month, we celebrate Speech and Language Therapy and Sensory Integration.

    We welcome content suggestions for a forthcoming Education edition: what books, apps, products, social media and contemporary journal articles can you recommend, that have not been recently featured in EmphaSIze?

    Congratulations to Lucy 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.

    EmphaSIze is free to read here - no need to login.



  • 21 Dec 2018 12:37 | Anonymous

    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.

    Judy Goodfellow

    Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

    Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

  • 18 Dec 2018 21:46 | Anonymous

    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: esic2019congress@gmail.com 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 support@sensoryintegration.org.uk to apply for the bursary.

    Good luck!


    EUROPEAN SENSORY INTEGRATION CONGRESS (ESIC)

    Thessaloniki, Greece

    20-22 June 2019

    @esic2019thessaloniki

    "Translating Sensory Processing into Quality of Life in Various Environments"

    Hosted by: The Hellenic Scientific Society for Sensory Integration

    Venue: Macedonia Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki.

  • 18 Dec 2018 10:33 | Anonymous

    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 therapyandeducation@gmail.com 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.”

  • 13 Dec 2018 18:21 | Anonymous

    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!

  • 13 Dec 2018 10:21 | Anonymous

    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

    With Distinction

    Moira Veira.

    With Commendation

    Emer Broderick, Gemma Carlier, Rachelle Curtis, Jannie Laverie,  Kathryn Rowley,  Aideen Ruttledge.

     

    POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN SENSORY INTEGRATION

    With Distinction

    Sanjeev Badwal, Madeleine Dewis, Catherine Warne.

    With Commendation

    Frances Critchley, Signe Dimitriades, Rachel Swatton.

     

    POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN SENSORY INTEGRATION

    With Distinction

    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.

    With Commendation

    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.

    Pass

    Nimet Altiok,  Debra Divell, Louise Holdsworth, Danielle Longden, Helen Mason, Ela Powezka, Mary Read.

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