Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy
Helping children and adults with SI difficulties
Friends and Lecturers
Judith Abelenda is a clinician currently living and working in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, where she runs her private practice, Uutchi Desarrollo Infantil, supporting development through participation of children and their families. She graduated as an occupational therapist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1985. She specialised in mental health through the four-year-long Interdisciplinary Residency in Mental Health.
In the year 2000 Judith moved to Chicago, IL, USA, to earn a Masters of Science degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was a research assistant to Dr. Gary Kielhofner. In Chicago, she worked for several years at the Illinois Early Intervention program. To deepen her understanding of the impact of the sensory integration processes in the development of young children, Judith travelled to California in 2010 to complete the OT610 course at the University of Southern California. In 2013 she completed an advanced practice certificate in autism at Thomas Jefferson University.
Judith is a training leader and expert DIR/Floortime® provider by the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning.
DipCOT, BSc(Hons), MSc(OT)
Postgraduate Education Team, Singapore & UK based.
Sue Allen is a Consultant Occupational Therapist based in Singapore and the UK. Sue is a clinician, lecturer and researcher. Sue has worked as an Occupational Therapist for 27 years in both hospital, school and community settings and has a keen interest in improving quality of life for children and their families. Sue served on the SI Network Board of directors from 2005 and was Chairman from 2008 to 2013. Sue is a marker for SI2/3 and 4 and a mentor for SI4 and a Recognised Lecturer with University of Ulster. Sue was awarded her Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner Certificate (2005) and a Sensory Integration Network Fellowship (2013)
Research interests include therapy outcomes, supporting families and sensory processing in DCD. Sue is currently involved in projects with University of Reading and University of Ulster and is the primary recipient of an SI Network Research Grant supporting the identification of incidence of sensory processing difficulties in children with DCD.
Dip COT, MSc. OT - Community Paediatric Occupational TherapistPostgraduate Education Lecturer, UK based.
Mandy has worked in Edinburgh since she qualified. With over 30 years’ experience as a paediatric occupational therapist she has specialised in intervention to support children with Developmental Coordination Difficulties (DCD) and children who have challenges with sensory processing. Her extensive knowledge and experience is used widely in a mentorship and support role within both her clinical context and within the Sensory Integration Network (UK and Ireland). She has been a serving member of the SI Network UK and Ireland Committee and subsequently Board of Directors for over 15 years
Mandy is currently working as a community paediatric occupational therapist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh and as a member of the Therapy Inclusion Partnership (TIP), a trans disciplinary team. The team’s role is to work in collaboration with City of Edinburgh Children and Families Department and Health in schools to support education staff with inclusion.
Between 2005 and 2010, Mandy was seconded to Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh where she worked as a Research Practitioner within the CIRCLE Collaboration. The CIRCLE Collaboration is involved with generating an evidence base to support practice. Mandy has been involved in the refresh of the Circle Collaboration documentation and additional publications generated by the team. Mandy completed her MSc. in Occupational Therapy through Queen Margaret University in 2010. Her research focused on impairments in sensory modulation in children with ASD. Mandy is an Accredited Practice Educator and is currently Vice Chair of the SI Network UK and Ireland. She is a lecturer on SI 2/3, Blackboard for SI2/3 and a recognised teacher with Ulster University and SIPT Instructor with WPS.
Dr Marie Anzalone
ScD, OTR, FAOTAInternational lecturer, USA based.
Marie Anzalone, ScD, OTR, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University and a LEND Faculty member at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY. She was previously on the faculty of the Occupational Therapy Program at Columbia University. Marie has presented and published extensively in the area of sensory processing in infants and young children.
MScOT, OT(C)International Lecturer.
Isabelle Beaudry Bellefeuille received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) in 1991. Early on in her career she specialized in pediatrics and sensory integration and has been involved for over 15 years in developing these areas of Occupational Therapy in Spain, her country of adoption. She has completed an Advanced Practice Certificate in Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University under the direction of Dr. Roseann Schaaf and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University under the direction of Dr. Shelly Lane.
Consultant Occupational Therapist and Attachment CounsellorInternational Lecturer, Ireland based.
Éadaoin Bhreathnach is a Consultant Occupational Therapist & Attachment Counsellor. She worked for fifteen years in the National Health Service as a clinical practitioner and in senior management. During that period she set up the first Sensory Integration Clinic in Britain and Ireland and organised a two-year Occupational Therapy programme in Videle Orphanage in Romania. Éadaoin founded the Irish Sensory Integration Association. She later collaborated with colleagues in England and Scotland to establish the Sensory Integration Network UK and Ireland.
In 1990 she set up in private practice. It specialises in the assessment and treatment of sensory processing and attachment difficulties of both children and adults. Her sensory attachment intervention (SAI) approach is both integrative and eclectic. It combines neurobehavioural analysis, attachment classification, and client centred counselling theories. SAI analyses whether behavioural difficulties are sensory based or attachment based. It focuses on regulation of arousal states to facilitate: organised behaviour; parent child engagement; and reflective functioning. Éadaoin’s SAI Centre provides enriched sensory and attachment experiences for families. It is a traditional Irish cottage with an SI playroom. It also has a secret garden with womb, mother- child, and father-child sensory attachment spaces.
Éadaoin’s SAI Model has been presented at conferences in Britain, Ireland, United States and Australia. She is the author of the Scared Gang Books that helps children to recognise their own survival and attachment patterns through the Scared Gang characters. Éadaoin is currently researching the relationship between children’s physiological patterns, sensory processing patterns, and their attachment behaviour.
PhD, OTR/L, FAOTAInternational Lecturer, USA based.
Erna Imperatore Blanche received her basic training in occupational therapy at the University of Chile (Santiago, Chile) and later earned her Master of Arts degree in Special Education at Columbia University. She received her PhD degree in Occupational Science at the University of Southern California. She is an expert in pediatric occupational therapy and interventions based on occupational science. She has co-authored two books, "Understanding the Nature of Sensory Integration with Diverse Populations" and "Observations Based on Sensory Integration," and one video series, "Combining Neurodevelopmental Treatment and Sensory Integration Principles," on pediatric practice. She has also published numerous articles in English and Spanish on the topics of play, wellness and other issues in clinical practice. Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy International, Journal of Occupational Science, and Play and Culture Studies, among others, as well as in pediatric textbooks. Blanche has lectured internationally in more than 20 countries and maintains ties with Therapy West, Inc., a clinic seeing over 400 children per week that was co-founded by her, as well as with the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Chile.
BSc (Hons) OT, PG Cert SI
Lecturer, UK based, SI Network Social Media Lead.
Morwenna began her career working for Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust where gained a broad knowledge base working in a range of settings. These included acute neurology; inpatient and community adult psychiatry, early intervention team for psychosis and inpatient complex care and dementia.
Morwenna continues to practice occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy in a private practice in Cornwall, with clients across the life span.
Occupational TherapistLecturer, UK based.
Gemma Cartwright has been an Occupational Therapist for over 13 years, predominantly working with children and young people. She became an Advanced Sensory Integration (SI) Practitioner in 2008 and completed her MSc in Neurological Occupational Therapy in 2012, carrying out research on the relationship between sleep and sensory responsivity. Gemma is a mentor for Advanced SI practitioners and lectures on the Advanced SI module affiliated with Ulster University. She also co- presents the SI Masterclass, commissioned by the College of Occupational Therapy. Gemma has recently becomes the Director of Reseacher Development for the SI Network.
Gemma works as an Advanced Occupational Therapist and Manager of Neurodevelopmental Services across Coventry and Warwickshire. Her role focuses on developing services for children and young people with disorders such as ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia and Tourettes. As part of this role Gemma is taking the opportunity to develop services across the lifespan for service users with Sensory Integration Dysfunction/Sensory Processing Disorders. Integral to this role is her work with commissioners, service managers, the wider multi professional/disciplinary/agency teams as well as supporting the development of services and clinicians.
OTD, OTR/LInternational Lecturer, USA based.
Tina is a consultant, professor and the program director for the Center for Human Development’s Institute for Dynamic Living. She enjoys creating and implementing innovative programs using a variety of service delivery models. Her most recent initiatives include the creation of nurturing and healing treatment systems of care, the application of nonlinear dynamic systems theory to clinical practice and organizational change, and working to establish research in these areas. She has published and presents on her work in the areas of trauma and attachment-informed care and the use of sensory-based and integrative approaches to support recovery.
Occupational TherapistLecturer, UK based.
I graduated from Plymouth University with a 1st class honours degree in Occupational Therapy and have since worked largely within neurodisability. I currently work for the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust in South Devon as part of the Reach Neurodisability Team where I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to set up a new Sensory Integration Service and also lead on the pilot project Transition-H, a service for young people with brain injury transitioning into the workplace. I have previous degrees in Microbiology/Quality Management and come from a working background in medical device reprocessing development and food microbiology research. I am also a fully qualified and practising Yoga and Pilates Teacher. I am currently working towards finishing my advanced practitioner in Sensory Integration with a view to continuing on to complete the Masters Degree through Ulster University. I recently joined the trainee lecturing team with the SI Network and presented this year at the OT Show at Birmingham NEC on the subject of Autism and Ayres Sensory Integration.
Dr Gretchen Dahl-Reeves
PHD, OT, FAOTA
Postgraduate Education Team - SI Module 4, USA based.
My experience as a pediatric occupational therapist has often involved interactions and intervention with children who display serious behavioral dysregulation due to stress and hypersensitivity to environmental stimuli. I am particularly interested in how occupational therapists facilitate appropriate responses in infants and young children at risk for learning and emotional impairments. Psychophysiological measures were incorporated into 2 previous investigations with children with autistic spectrum disorders. In addition, I have pursued investigations of the effects of therapeutic intervention on the occupations of feeding, handwriting and play in young children. Play is an occupation that is often aberrant in children on the autism spectrum. I have examined the role of play in engaging children on the spectrum with positive results on affect and language.
Gina DalyBSc Occupational Therapy, MSc Sensory Integration, PhD student Occupational Therapy
E-Mentor and Lecturer
Gina Daly graduated with a BSc honours degree in Occupational Therapy from University College Cork in 2011. Since then, Gina has been working as paediatric Occupational Therapist. She became an Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner in 2015 and completed her MSc in Sensory Integration in 2016 through the SI Network and Ulster University. Her MSc rresearch focused on “Exploring the correlation between sensory integration difficulties and self-care skill difficulties in school aged children with ASD”. Gina has a special interest in sensory integration and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has subsequently continued her studies in the area of Sensory Integration and is currently a PhD candidate in Occupational Therapy in University College Cork in Ireland. She is a full time Occupational Therapist working in a community paediatric health care setting for children with physical disabilities in Ireland. Gina is the editor for the SI Network publication, SensorNet and is an active e-mentor for the SI module one online where she assists students with theirlearning.
Postgraduate Education Team, UK based.
I have worked in the clinical field for a period of 20 years as an occupational therapist in a range of settings including: specialist schools for children with cerebral palsy and specific learning difficulties, and institute for the learning disabled, general physical hospitals, and community paediatrics. This experience spanned three countries: South Africa, England and Wales. In addition I have worked and offer consultation in the private sector as a paediatric occupational therapist. In my final years in clinical work I managed a community paediatric occupational therapy department with 14 staff.
I joined Cardiff University as an Occupational Therapy lecturer in 2002 and continue to teach on the undergraduate BSc Hons (OT) programme as well as sessions on the PGDip (OT) and the MSc Neurorehabilitation programmes. In the past I have taught as a sessional lecturer at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and was a recognised teacher of the University of Liverpool. I am currently a recognised teacher of the Ulster University.
Lecturer, UK based.
I am an enthusiastic person, passionate about teaching and Occupational Therapy. I love the out of doors and also run a rainbow unit (guiding group of girls 5-7 years) outside of work. I have been an Occupational Therapist for nearly 20 years and have worked in all sorts of settings (inpatient, community, schools) as well as with a variety of clients groups (learning disabilities and long term conditions mainly). My specialist clinical area is the use of sensory based approaches, using the sensory integration theory. I have recently joined the university teaching team on this new Occupational Therapy course, having been a manager in the NHS and also a professional lead for Occupational Therapy.
M.Sc, B.Sc Occupational Therapy, PhD student Health Related Sciences
Postgraduate Education Lecturer, Ireland based.
International Lecturer, South Africa based.
Megan Faure BSc, OT, OTR is an Occupational Therapist who has worked in pediatrics in the USA and South Africa for more than a decade. Megan regularly lectures to both professionals and parents on various baby and childcare issues, in particular how to help infants with extreme fussiness, poor sleep habits and feeding problems. Megan is the founder and chairperson of the Infant Sensory Integration Training group, which provides courses for therapists to equip them to understand and treat infant behaviour.
Megan is a journalist and author in the field of child psychology, parenting and child development. Passionate about her work and research into the field of infant development, particularly sensory integration, Meg felt that an understanding of the way a baby processes her world and the impact the sensory world has on sleep, feeding and development needed to be communicated to parents. She co- authored Baby Sense which has been translated into 4 languages and is a best seller. She followed this book’s success with Sleep Sense, Feeding Sense and Your Sensory Baby. Megan writes for several regional and national publications in the UK and South Africa. She has made numerous television appearances in South Africa. She delivers talks on baby care at NCT conferences and at the Baby Show in the UK and at many locations across South Africa. Megan runs practice in Cape Town where she sees babies and toddlers with sleep problems and sensory processing difficulties. She is married with a son and two daughters.
Dr Deanna Gibbs
BAppSc(OT), MOT, Grad Cert Res Meth, PhD.
Lecturer, UK based.
Dr Deanna Gibbs is the Research Consultant for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at Barts Health NHS Trust, and an honorary research fellow at City University London. Prior to commencing in this role she was the Occupational Therapy Services Manager in the same trust. Deanna graduated as an occupational therapist from the University of Sydney in 1994, and has worked predominantly in acute paediatric settings, with a specific focus in neonatal intensive care. Deanna has worked across a variety of acute paediatric settings in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Dr Jackie Gracey
Deputy Course Director for MSc in Sensory Integration at the University of Ulster and is academic link for SI Module 1.
Areas of interest: The management of low back pain within physiotherapy; exercise and advice in the management of low back pain; cancer related fatigue and the role of exercise.
Postgraduate Education Team, SI Module 4, UK based.
Reader in Rehabilitation, Centre for Rehabilitation. Dido joined Oxford Brookes University in 2012, coming from the Department of Occupational Therapy, Tel Aviv University where her responsibilities included directorship of the motor learning laboratory and delivery of courses on Neuroscience Foundations for Behaviour, Motor Control / Motor Learning and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
Following a career as a professional ballerina, Dido qualified as an Occupational Therapist, from Dorset House School of Occupational Therapy in 1990 and gained extensive clinical and research experience in the field of Paediatric Neurosciences and Neurodisability focussing research in the field of movement disorders with an emphasis on clinical applications of science. Dido’s MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from the University of Surrey, provided a basis from which to marry clinical with behavioural sciences. Dido completed her PhD at the University of Leeds studying the prediction of treatment response according to subtype of movement disorder.
Dip COT - Clinical Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist
Postgraduate Education Lecturer, UK based.
Lindsay is currently working as a clinical lead paediatric occupational therapist at The Pace Centre, a charity run school and child development centre based in Aylesbury and as a clinical mentor. Lindsay has worked in Teesside, Suffolk, London, Australia and United Arab Emirates since she qualified as an occupational therapist over 30 years ago. Client groups have included children with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, ASD and Emotional Behavioural Difficulties. Clients have ranged from birth to 18 years. Lindsay has developed paediatric therapy courses for Occupational Therapists and is currently involved in developing an early intervention service within the Pace centre for ex-premature babies.
Lecturer, UK based.
Emily Hills is a Clinical Specialist Neonatal Occupational Therapist at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust. Emily works at the “Starlight” neonatal unit at Barnet Hospital where she leads on developmental care, neurodevelopmental assessment and developmental interventions; including follow-up after discharge.
Emily is passionate about developmental care and is a lecturer for Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education (FINE) courses.
Emily is an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration (SI) and leads on the OT-SI intervention clinic at Royal Free Hospital, which particularly focuses on early years intervention for the ex- preterm infant.
Emily has completed both her Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) and Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) certification and is a lecturer for the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain.
Emily is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI). She has almost completed her NIDCAP certification and is currently undertaking her MSc in Advanced Neonatal Studies at Southampton University.
BA (Hons) PgDip OT MSc
Lecturer, UK based.
Sarah graduated from the University of Brighton with a Post Graduation Diploma in Occupational Therapy in 2008. She began working at the PACE Centre in Aylesbury shortly after qualifying, working with children with motor disorders in a conductive education setting. As part of Sarah's role at the PACE Centre she also became part of a commissioned Occupational Therapy service providing therapy into an LEA maintained primary school for children with special needs. It is here where Sarah's interest in sensory integration grew and she went on the sensory integration modular pathway, gaining advanced practitioner status and in September 2014 was awarded with an MSc in Sensory Integration.
Bsc (Hons) Occupational therapy
Trainee Lecturer, UK based
Tamsin qualified as an Occupational therapist in 2004 with a Bsc (Hons) Occupational therapy from Oxford Brookes University at Dorset House. She first worked on a rotation gaining valuable experience in a range of settings including neurology, rehabilitation, community physical and mental inpatient settings. Tamsin has also worked in the community with adults with learning disabilities and spent 8 years working in inpatient mental health, both with adults and older adults with acute mental health difficulties. Tamsin became interested in sensory integration whilst working on the acute mental health wards, and in particular applying the principles of sensory integration with older adults with dementia and other cognitive changes. In 2007 Tamsin completed her module 1 Foundations for Practice in Sensory integration, she has since further completed the original module 2 in 2009, and later completed Module 2/3 in 2014. Tamsin’s passion and interest in sensory integration ha s led her to Advanced Practitioner where she is currently completing module 4. Tamsin currently works in Cornwall for a private Occupational therapy practice providing assessment and intervention for individuals across the life span, this includes sensory integration in the clinic as well as input into schools and homes.
Tamsin has been part of SI Networks social media Team for 2 years. In 2015, Tamsin presented a autism case study at the OT show, NEC, Birmingham. More recently Tamsin has started lecturing on the mental health and wellbeing course as well as the older adults courses.
MRes, MSc OT, PG Cert SI, BA (Hons)
Research Committee, UK based.
Helen qualified as an occupational therapist in 2001 and gained her MSc in occupational therapy in 2004. She has worked predominantly within the NHS in Sussex. Helen currently works in paediatrics, although much of her career has been spent working with adults with learning disabilities. Helen also has clinical experience in child and adolescent, adult, forensic and older people’s mental health.
Helen has a particular interest in clinical research and completed a NIHR-funded Clinical Research Masters in 2016. Her research for this explored which elements of practice occupational therapists felt were important when using sensory processing approaches on acute learning disability in-patient units. Helen is a member of the SI Network Researcher Development Committee, with responsibility for supporting those undertaking post-qualifying MSc and PhD research.
BSc (Hons.) OT, MOT, MAOTI
Lecturer, UK based
Sarika completed her B.Sc. (Hons.) Occupational Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy education in India. She was awarded Late (Mrs) Kamla V Nimbkar Trophy for Best Scientific Paper in Annual National Conference of All India Occupational Therapists Association in 2004. She lectured the undergraduate and postgraduate student cohorts for a few years in India before she moved to Ireland in 2006. Sarika has been working as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist in the Community setting since then. She has worked with school aged children, in early intervention and as a lead senior as part of her role. Given her interest in the area of Sensory Integration, she is pursuing her advanced practitioner training. Sarika joined the SI Network in 2014, working as part of the Learning and Development Team. She is now member of the SI-2/3 lecturer team and editors for developing SI 1.
Lesley Kilshaw is a consultant psychiatrist, specialising in children and adolescents with intellectual disability. She has 15 years of experience working with this population throughout the West Midlands. Whilst working as a consultant in a national inpatient service she became aware of the high levels of sensory needs exhibited by the young people under her care. She arranged training for the organisation through the Sensory Integration Network, and this led to significant change in the manner in which high levels of arousal were managed, by implementing sensory strategies.
Her main focus of interest is the link between emotional arousal and sensory processing, and using simple sensory strategies to help modulate a person’s emotional state. This has led to an increased understanding of how this affects all humans, especially those who are going through periods of distress. She is particularly keen to raise levels of understanding of this phenomenon amongst psychiatrists in order that they may lead in ensuring that their patients have their sensory needs considered.
She recognises that there is little research to support this, and welcomes the opportunity to contribute towards this.
Dr Greg Kelly
Reader, Institute of Nursing and Health Research, University of Ulster
Course Director for MSc in Sensory Integration at University of Ulster and Academic link to SI Module 2/3, UK based.
Greg Kelly is a registered occupational therapist who works at Ulster University where he is a Reader in Teaching and Learning. He is also Course Director for the PGCert/Dip/MSc in Sensory Integration and teaches on the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy. Recently he has become interested in the use of mindfulness in occupational therapy – “occupational mindfulness” – and has, with his colleague Monique Harte, run a number of successful mindfulness workshops for allied health professionals over the last few years. Recent interest in the neuroscience of mindfulness led him to investigate if there might be a relationship between the neuroscience underpinning mindfulness and the neuroscience underpinning sensory integration.
His interest in sensory integration dates back to 1979 when he was working in a large psychiatric hospital. He was fascinated by the work of Lorna Jean King and her “Theory and Application of Sensory Integrative Treatment for Residents of Long Term Care Facilities with Histories of Chronic Schizophrenia”. However, it was not until the early 1980s when working as a paediatric occupational therapist in Cherryville Speech and Language Assessment Unit in Belfast that he began experimenting, successfully, with sensory integration therapy to treat children with speech and language disorders. He read Ayres, A.J. and Mailloux, Z. 1981. Influence of sensory integration procedures on language development. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 35(6), 383-390 and decided to give it a go.
Dr Shelly Lane
PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
International Lecturer, USA based.
Phd., MSc, Dip COT., Dip Montessori
Postgraduate Education Team, Ireland based.
Helen Lynch qualified as an Occupational Therapist from St. Joseph's College of Occupational Therapy, Dublin in 1983. She began her career working in adult mental health and Care of the Elderly, and in a centre for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Cope Foundation Cork. She has worked as senior Occupational Therapist and Manager of Occupational Therapy services in a variety of centres, specialising in environmental access, sensory integration, and occupational development. In collaboration with parents and health professionals, she was instrumental in the development of a unit in Cork for children with developmental coordination disorder: the DCD Unit. This innovative service provided a one-stop service for assessment, diagnosis and treatment for children with DCD and was one of the first in Ireland to do so. She was successful in winning a scholarship for the national Clinicians in Leadership Programme run by the health services (2000-2002).
OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
International and Postgraduate Education lecturer, USA based.
Zoe Mailloux is a founding partner, alongside Susanne Smith Roley, of the Collaborative for Leadership in Ayres Sensory Integration (CLASI). She has participated in test development and clinical research related to sensory integrative dysfunction and autism and she was a research assistant to Dr. A. Jean Ayres from 1978 to 1984 during which time she was involved in many clinical and research projects with Dr. Ayres.
Dr Teresa May-Benson
International Lecturer, USA based.
Teresa A. May-Benson, Clinical Director of Occupational Therapy Associates- Watertown, P.C. and Research Director of the Spiral Foundation at OTA-Watertown is a well-known lecturer and researcher on sensory integration theory and intervention.
She has authored a number of book chapters and articles on praxis and sensory integration, and completed her doctoral dissertation on ideational praxis. Dr. May-Benson has a diverse background as a clinical practitioner having worked in private and public school settings as well as private practice. She is active in conducting research related to sensory integration through the non-profit Spiral Foundation’s Sensory Processing Research Center.
Postgraduate Education Team, SI Module 1, Ireland based.
Jill McCanney is an Autism Specialist Occupational Therapist and Autism Trainer/Advisor in Middletown Centre for Autism. She has postgraduate qualifications in Sensory Integration, including SIPT registration and is a tutor on the Sensory Integration MSc course. She also holds a Masters in Clinical Research. Jill worked in Special Schools for over seven years prior to commencement of her current post. This included the development and provision of intervention programmes for students with autism, specifically in relation to sensory processing and motor difficulties.
MS, OTR, C/NDT.
International Lecture, USA based.
Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS, OTR, C/NDT. Carolyn along with Betty Paris are the co-founders of State of the Art Resource Services (STAR Services), a USA based educational company providing national and international workshops since 1993. They have been tutors for the Sensory Integration Network since 2004; are the authors of the textbooks Is it Sensory or Is it Behaviour? Autism Interventions: Exploring the Spectrum of Autism 2nd Ed. and Developing Visual Motor Intervention and have published many journal articles. They have a diverse background as a clinical practitioners having worked in private and public settings with clients throughout the life span, and have functioned in consultative and administrative roles. She has been recognized for her outstanding leadership by the Florida Occupational Therapy Association in 1999 and 2003 and currently is actively involved with the American Occupational Therapy Association.
BSc. OT – Independent Occupational Therapist (Director)
Postgraduate Education Team, UK based.
Alison graduated from Derby University in 1994 with a 2:1 degree in Occupational Therapy. Alison had a broad range of initial experience in both physical and mental health, then specialised for seven years within housing adaptations creating innovative and one off designs. Alison then moved into Community Paediatrics for the NHS for seven years. In 2010, she set up her own independent practise which focuses on working with children with developmental difficulties, and providing advice and treatment for Sensory Processing Disorders/ Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Alison is an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration Therapy and is currently completing a Masters degree in Sensory Integration through University of Ulster. She is an accredited trainee lecturer/Recognised teacher with Ulster University in the delivery of clinical modules for SI Module 2/3 with SI Network. Alison has presented to national audiences including the National Autistic Society in 2012, and the British Dental Association in 2013, both on the subject of sensory processing disorders and Autism. Most recently, Alison presented at the National OT Show in 2013 on the subject of Statements of Special Educational Needs and Sensory Integration Therapy.
BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, PG Cert Sensory Integration
Lecturer, UK based.
Clare qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2007 and since 2010 has worked as a Specialist Occupational Therapist working within an NHS Secure Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit, as well as working as an Independent OT within the fields of CAMHS and Mental Health.
Her experience includes working with young people with complex histories of trauma, neglect and abuse resulting in; attachment, mental health and social difficulties. Within her current role she has had the honour of developing the profile of Sensory Integration with this client group to support positive therapeutic engagement, work with behaviours that challenge, improve occupational functioning and promote mental wellbeing and recovery. It is during this role that Clare has developed a passion for sharing the message of Sensory Integration and Occupational Therapy.
Clare has followed the modular pathway in Sensory Integration and is working toward completing her PG Dip in Sensory Integration.
Professor Diane Parham
International lecturer, USA based.
Dr. Parham began working in July 2007 at the University of New Mexico, where she is Professor and Director of the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program. In the EARLY Program, she is involved with occupational therapy supervision and development of clinical assessment and intervention strategies.
Prior to joining UNM, Dr. Parham was on the faculty of the University of Southern California for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida, Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy from USC, and Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, with specialization in Special Education and cognate in Developmental Psychology.Before Dr. Parham began her academic career, she worked with adults, adolescents, and children as an occupational therapist in out-patient and in-patient mental health.
Betty A. ParisPT, M.Ed, C/NDT.
International Lecturer, USA based.
Betty Paris, PT, M.Ed, C/NDT. Betty along with Carolyn Murray-Slutsky are the co-founders of State of the Art Resource Services (STAR Services), a USA based educational company providing national and international workshops since 1993. They have been tutors for the Sensory Integration Network since 2004; are the authors of the textbooks Is it Sensory or Is it Behaviour? Autism Interventions: Exploring the Spectrum of Autism 2nd Ed. and Developing Visual Motor Intervention and have published many journal articles. They have a diverse background as a clinical practitioners having worked in private and public settings with clients throughout the life span, and have functioned in consultative and administrative roles.
Research Support Committee
Dr Tanya Rihtman is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy (OT) at Coventry University, with over twelve years of clinical experience as a pediatric occupational therapist working with children with developmental delays. Her research interests include the identification of factors affecting the developmental and participatory profile of children, with the aim of providing the earliest possible interventions to prevent longer-term functional deficits.
Tanya’s PhD research focused on the developmental effects of intra-uterine exposure to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). The findings from this study demonstrated that, even in the absence of the more severe congenital anomalies sometimes associated with intra-uterine AED-exposure, a risk of subtle developmental delays exists amongst AED-exposed children.
Since completing her PhD, Tanya has been coordinating a number of studies including an investigation into cross-cultural differences in motor development and delay of young preschoolers, an SI Network (UK and Ireland) funded study into the relationships between sensory, behavioural and motor measures amongst young children and an investigation into the current state of OT provision for developmental coordination disorder in the UK. In her academic role, she also engages in a range of multi-disciplinary and pedagogical research activities.
Rosalind Rogers - SI Network Chair
BA MSc LGSM FRCSLTAcademic link for SI Module 4, UK based.
Rosalind has an enviable track record of working to develop national standards of high quality education. She was on the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency’s group which developed the first Benchmark Statements for pre-registration health courses. She led the development of the UK Standards for Work-based Learning for Speech and Language Therapy and represented the UK professional body, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, to develop the Health and Care Professional Council’s Standards for Education and Training. She was a Partner for the UK Regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council, the body that upholds standards in order to protect the public. She currently is working with the International Council for Education in Ayres Sensory Integration (ICEASI) to build a consensus for International Standards of Education in ASI.
Her externally focused work on standards is matched by a long-standing reputation within Ulster for developing innovative curricula. Her passion is in planning and developing high quality training and education across a range of sectors and people. She is acknowledged publically by Dr. Kelly, Course Director of the Masters in Sensory Integration at Ulster University, as being the creator of the Masters programme in Sensory Integration –the first in its kind in the world.
In 2011, Rosalind was acknowledged by her profession through the conferment of the award of Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. This honour was bestowed as a consequence of her engagement in a range of leadership roles, the most notable being Chair of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ Council, where she was commended for her vision in respect of professional development for health professionals.
She was invited to chair the Board of Sensory Integration Network in 2014 in order that her skills of strategic leadership for this organisation could be harnessed for this organisation. She has already demonstrated her strong support for this organisation’s Vision. Her management skills have been honed through twelve years in academic management at Ulster University
She also is a high quality teacher –she is a Fellow of the University’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice. However, she is most proud of being a finalist for the Students Union’s University Staff Member of the Year 2013 because this is a student-nominated award-she was the only academic from her faculty to be shortlisted. Occupational Therapists who heard her lecture on Neuroscience on a recent Sensory Integration Foundations in Neuroscience module were effusive in their praise of her knowledge and ability to communicate complex concepts and ideas in a clear, engaging, style.
In her personal life, living on the beautiful drumlins of Country Down, in Northern Ireland, as a foster mother, she is particularly interested in the application of Ayres Sensory Integration to supporting children and young people who have experienced trauma. She uses the knowledge shared by her expert Sensory Integration Advanced Practitioner friends on a regular basis for children in her home environment.
Dr Joanne Ross
Professor Roseann C. Schaaf
PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
International and Postgraduate Education Lecturer, USA based.
Dr. Panagiotis Siapera
OT, CPsychol AFBPsS
International Lecturer, Greece based.
Lecturer, UK based.
BSc(OT) – Independent Consultant Occupational TherapistPostgraduate Education Lecturer, UK based.
A South African, Kath worked in CAMHS and a Special School before moving to the UK where she co-authored assessment tools and skills cards within the Special Parenting Service. In the late 1990’s Kath initiated development and delivery of sensory integration services within Cornish NHS inpatient facilities for older adults, adults and adolescents (learning disability and mental health) - developing tools and resources to do this. Kath is frequently invited to and has presented at national and international conferences.
Kath’s clinical practice continues to include service user participation in the development of SI resources, especially psycho-education and self help resources across the life span. In the last two years she has had an exciting opportunity to develop and deliver an SI/Occupational Therapy service for young people across and in rural settings.
Kath is undertaking her PhD; working with service users researching links between Sensory Integration and mental wellbeing.
Susanne Smith Roley
OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
International and Postgraduate Education Lecturer, USA based.
Susanne Smith Roley OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA is an occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience in pediatrics. She obtained her BS in OT at Indiana University, her MS in Allied Health Sciences at Boston University and her OTD at University of Southern California. Susanne is in private practice in Orange County in Southern California and co-founder of the nonprofit, Collaborative for Leadership in Sensory Integration (CLASI).
She is a past chair of the Commission on Practice and the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section for AOTA; and a contributing author of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 2002 and 2nd Edition. She is an internationally recognized author and lecturer on the theory and application of sensory integration. She is co-editor of the books, Understanding the Nature of Sensory Integration with Diverse Populations and Sensory Integration: Applying Clinical Reasoning to Diverse Populations. She is a fellow of the AOTA and recipient of the AOTF Virginia Scardina Award of Excellence and the AOTF A. Jean Ayres Award.
Elisabeth SoechtingM.A., OTR/L
International Lecturer, Austria based.
Lecturer, UK based.
Dip COT, MSc. – Independent Consultant Occupational TherapistPostgraduate Education Lecturer, UK based.
Ros Urwin works as an independent occupational therapist based in the New Forest, Hampshire. She specialises in seeing young people and adults whose function in daily life and ability to engage in everyday occupations is compromised by poor sensory processing. Ros has worked for over 30 years in the NHS primarily in the field of learning disabilities, including autism, working clinically with adults and children’s complex teams & community services in Hampshire and Dorset. Her expertise has been in leading occupational therapy services across a large NHS Foundation University Trust, adult & children’s mental health and specialist services and was Professional Lead Occupational Therapist.
Ros completed her MSc in Rehabilitation Science at Southampton University in 2003. Her dissertation, published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, explored the effectiveness of Sensory Integration (SI) Therapy on adults with learning disabilities and sensory modulation disorders. The application of SI within adult and diverse populations has been a focus of her work. In 2003 – 2009, Ros was co-presenter with Dr Dido Green for “Applied Clinical Reasoning using a Sensory Integrative Approach in the Treatment of Individuals with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Learning Disabilities” (5 day course). Ros has been a committee member of the SI Network (2006-15) and most recently was Postgraduate Education Director with SI Network (UK & Ireland). Ros helped develop the SI Module 1 Adults course (now integrated into SI1 module), lectures and been Module Lead for SI 2/3, is an assignment marker for the modules and mentor for SI4. She continues to lecture and present at national and international conferences on SI and occupational challenges for adults and children with complex needs.
Carla Cay Williams
International Lecturer, USA based.
Postgraduate Education Lecturer, UK based.
BApp Sc (OT), MSc - Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist
Research Committee, UK based
Audrey qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in 1991 at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Her early work experience has been in London working in acute, community and forensic mental health settings.
She presently works as a Specialist Community OT for the Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT) in East Sussex.
Audrey completed her Sensory Integration level 2/3 training in 2011 and has been instrumental in developing and establishing a sensory processing clinic for adults with learning disabilities within the CLDT. Her interests include the continued development of OT intervention for sensory processing disorders in adults with learning disabilities, who present with challenging behaviours or complex physical health issues. She also has an interest in the impact of early onset dementia on people with learning disabilities and their Carers. In 2011, she completed an MSc (OT), which culminated in the completion of a Systematic Review entitled: The Human Occupational Impact of Close Partner and Family Caregiving in Dementia. A paper from this work was published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2014.
Audrey currently sits on the Research Ethics Committee of the Register of Chinese Medicine and is also a regular Guest Lecturer and Tutor at the University of Brighton, School of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy).