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SI Network Newsletter 1st July 2016

Summer Time Challenges

The sun is shining (sometimes!) and a summer of outdoor activities, outings and travel is upon us.

This month we consider summer-oriented needs relating to sensory processing such as sensory friendly days out, autism friendly airports, rough guides to accessible places, and sun cream advice. In the articles, we take a look at a Position Statement regarding the importance of outdoor play in child development, and take a closer look at the vestibular system. Books consider interoception, and SPD in teens. There is also news from the Global network, and we look at what some SI Network members are getting up to away from the workplace.

We wish you all a happy summer.

Cathy Warne, Editor

Course Content Lead

Meet Penny Stewart. She is the Content Development Lead, overseeing the development of new online course content for the SI Network. Penny is working alongside Kath Smith (Director of Learning & Development) and an editorial team who are responsible for writing the content. 

Penny previously worked at London South Bank University for 12 years, where she developed an interest in supporting e-learning and putting content of courses online. During this time she gained experience in reviewing taught content of courses and considering how this can be transformed to support students learning online.

She has developed expertise in working with virtual learning environments such as Moodle and Blackboard as well as using software to create online course presentations. Talking about the Learning Management System (LMS) and software the SI Network is using for this project, Penny says 'Learning Cart will be an effective platform where people will be able to select courses relevant to them. In addition Articulate Storyline provides us the opportunity to deliver interactive and intuitive courses facilitating an engaging learning experience for our students'.

She says students will not find a bullet-point laden presentation - the learning will include audio-visual content with engaging animations and images. The software can be used on a range of different devices, ensuring the courses are flexible and portable enough to be used anywhere there is internet access.

Penny says the team creating the SI Network online content represent a diverse range of professional groups and clinical experience:

'We are drawing on the experience of our members and lecturers to create unique courses, with content that is relevant to therapists working in a range of settings. Students will be able to navigate through the courses and select content that is relevant to their area of professional practice'.

Penny says the SI Network's online courses will be perfect for those who want to be in control of their own learning and study at a pace that suits them.

Regional Groups

Advanced SI Practitioner, Lelanie Brewer, is seeking to develop a new Regional Group in the North East. If you wish to join, please contact Lelanie through the North East Regional Facebook page.

It is great to know that the SI community is growing and peer support is being facilitated in both virtual and face-to-face environments. If you would like to develop a group in your area and help us build a vibrant SI community of like-minded therapists, please see here.

PHBs and the SI Network

Did you know that people who use their own money to employ carers, and people who receive Personal Health Budgets or Direct Payments for care, can apply for funding to cover the cost of care related training for themselves and a personal assistant? This could be a great way to fund attendance on a course run by the SI Network UK & Ireland.

Down to Earth

We are pleased to see that Major Tim Peake has safely returned from the International Space Station. Following the 'best ride ever', experiencing gravity for the first time in six months, phenomenal speed, and feeling the weight of his body again, Major Peake's first comments, as he sat squinting in the sun, were about sensory awareness: how strong the smells of earth were to him, how good the fresh air, and how he would "love some cool rain right now". He later described 'dizziness and vertigo any time I move my head', as the vestibular system readjusted. Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency said that astronauts returning to earth experience "everything you remember about earth, but 100 times sweeter".

See Tim Peake talk about the vestibular system.

What do OTs do, exactly?

London-based SI OT was featured in a Guardian article – ‘What does an Occupational Therapist do exactly?’ 

Weighted Therapy

After a busy day out, weighted therapymight help a person have a good sleep as explained in Medical Daily.

Sensory Behaviour in Mice

study on mice has revealed new evidence regarding the links between sensory information and behaviour, in the primary sensory cortex.

Oh! Vienna! 

Abstracts for ESIC2017

The arrangements for ESIC2017, the European Sensory Integration Congress in Vienna 1-3 June 2017, are starting to gain momentum. The congress is open to all interested persons.

The ESIC2017 organising team are now welcoming abstracts for presentations.

ASI 2020 Vision - Calling the Troops

Two years ago, an inspired group of humanitarians and rambunctious rebels from around the globe launched the ASI 2020 Vision. Do you recognise those from the SI Network UK & Ireland? With 4 years to go, much has been accomplished, but there is still much more to do! Join the effort or follow Global developments at ASI 2020 Vision.

Looking for some summertime reading? Here are two great new books for the SI bookshelf.

The Out-Of-Sync Child Grows Up

 - Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in the Adolescent and Young Adult Years.

Carol Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller

The long-awaited follow-up to the million-copy bestseller 'The Out-of-Sync Child,' presents information and advice for tweens, teens, and young adults living with Sensory Processing Disorder, and their parents.

Interoception: The Eighth Sensory System

Kelly Mahler

Temperature changes in the summer can have an effect on interoception. This recently published book describes the clear link between interoception and many important skills such as self-awareness, self-regulation, problem solving, intuition, in people with ASD.

Control your Sensory Products

Sensory manufacturers Rhino-UK have devised an app with which to operate their sensory products.

Strawberry Shortcake Summer

Develop skills of collaboration, organization and use eye-hand coordination with games and colouring in this vibrant app themed on a girl's summer vacation, aimed at younger players.

Colorfy Coloring Book

While away a dull summer day colouring these summer and floral scenes. Designed for relaxation and to reflect your mood, this ‘Google Best app’ can also benefit planning skills, fine motor movements and visual feedback.

New Job Vacancies

Advanced Researchers for SI Network Researcher Support Committee - SI Network (UK & Ireland)

Paediatric Occupational Therapist Band 5/6 - Eagle House School, South London

Paediatric Occupational Therapist - Tree Tops Children's Occupational Therapy Ltd, North East

Occupational Therapist - International Community School, London

Paediatric Occupational Therapist - Jump Start Centre, London

See more

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Some of the most ‘liked’ items on the SI Network’s Facebook page in June have included links to articles, such as ‘Proprioceptive Dysfunction Causes Sensory Seeking and Sensory Avoiding Behavior’, a video of a father and baby modelling ‘imitation praxis’, a link to ‘20 proprioceptive input ideas for home and school’, and popular posters stating that ‘Time spent playing with children is never wasted’, and ‘Play is the highest form of research - Einstein’.

Another much viewed post is a link to a magazine article on the benefits of yoga for children with sensory challenges. Those interested in this may also like to look at our current SensorNet magazine, featuring a therapist’s story of combining an SI approach to yoga.

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Panini Cheapskates

Advanced SI Practitioner, Sian Lloyd Pratchett, and her husband have turned budget football fandom into a colouring challenge, and ultimately a fundraising activity. Perhaps you might like to emulate the self-titled ‘Panini Cheapskates’ for a wet weather activity?

Teacher Training in ASD

Many readers will be delighted to hear that teachers will learn about autism as part of their core training. 

COTSS-PLD Abstracts

The College of Occupational Therapists have extended their deadline for abstracts for their conference to 1st August - so there is still time to showcase how SI is being applied to practice for people with learning disabilities.

Flo n Flop

Take a comfy break wherever you go this summer, or give the children an SI-challenging play item with this wind-filled portable lilo-style seat. Ideal for delivering SI on the move, this can be used for proprioceptive-rich, deep tactile and linear vestibular activities. 

Sun Protection for sensitive skin

People with tactile sensitivities can benefit from extra consideration regarding sun protection, so they can spend sensory-rich time having fun in the sun. This sun cream is mild and designed for sensitive skin.

Sensory-Friendly Days Out

The National Autistic Society provide a nationwide A-Z of days out suitable for people with ASD and SPD.

Scope provide a page of top-tip links including such gems as a Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, how some people can seek concessions for the cinema and football matches, and where to find your nearest Mobility Whirl.

NHS Choices provide a guide to Accessible Breaks, Activities and Day Trips, such that no-one with a disability should miss out on the sensations their body seeks and adventure they wish for. 

Summer Time Activities

Top Tips on helping people with sensory processing disorder to cope with sensations that come with summertime activities.

Mainly tactile sensations are covered in the eight slides titled Being Barefoot, Wearing Sandals or Flip-Flops, Sunscreen, Bug Repellent, Bugs and Bites, Sand, Swimming Pools and Swimsuits. 

Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play

Mark S. Tremblay, Casey Gray, Shawna Babcock, Joel Barnes, Christa Costas Bradstreet, Dawn Carr, Guylaine Chabot, Louise Choquette, David Chorney, Cam Collyer, Susan Herrington, Katherine Janson Ian Janssen, Richard Larouche, William Pickett, Marlene Power, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Brenda Simon, Mariana Brusson, and William Toscano - Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Jun; 12(6): 6475–6505 - Published online 2015 Jun 8. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120606475

A Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play was created in response to practitioner, academic, legal, insurance and public debate, on the relative benefits and harm of active outdoor play. Created in Canada, it states: “Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks— is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.” 95% of people and organisations consulted agreed with the statement.

Integration of Semi-Circular Canal and Otolith Cues for Direction Discrimination during Eccentric Rotations

Florian Soyka, Heinrich H. Bülthoff, Michael Barnett-Cowan - PLoS One, 31 Aug 2015, Vol. 10 (8), pp. e0136925.

Summer is a time when children are more likely to spend time in play parks, swinging from trees and gaining lots of vestibular input. This article investigated the working of the vestibular receptors for specific movements, concluding “that information from the two organs is integrated”.

Finding Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists and Physiotherapists is easy with the SI Network's No 1 Therapist directory.

Therapists can join for only £50 for 12 months. 

Hold a course on your site and save up to 60%  

Our experienced lecturers can now provide many of our quality SI training courses on your site! Save staff travel / accommodation costs and time away from work. (Minimum 20 people). See links below for on-site course details:



See the SI Network's unique range of specialised Sensory Integration books & videos in our Webshop. 10% discount for Silver and Gold members! Join today.

Also see our specially selected recommendations and SI Modular Pathway text books available from Amazon.

Cathy Warne +44( 0)118 324 1588

Thanks for contributions to: Cathy Maguire, Alex McArthur, Naomi McKee, Suzanne Leyland. Thanks for permitting featured items to: Lelanie Brewer, Moyna Talcer, Sian Lloyd Pratchett, and Penny Stewart. 

If you have some extraordinary SI News you wish to share and celebrate through the Network, please contact us – through our Social Media or directly to catherine.warne@sensoryintegration.org.uk.

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