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SI Network Newsletter 1st September 2016

Teaching Support & Vestibular Processing

Among the many ‘awareness’ events taking place during September, are the event-packed Balance Awareness Week (12-18 September) focusing on vestibular disorders, and National Teaching Assistant’s Day (16 September) recognising the valuable contribution Teaching Assistants make to the education and support of children.

As a new academic year begins, we select features that might interest Teaching Assistants and others, with particular emphasis on vestibular processing.

On a personal note, as I leave the EmphaSIze editorial role and hand over to the capable new partnership of Kate and Nikki, it is time for me to say ‘Goodbye and Thank You’ to you all.

Cathy Warne, Editor

Following a short break over the summer holiday period the team is back full-throttle.

Meet the new Editorial Team

We welcome new members of the network to the publications teams – Sharon Woolf, Kate Bradley and Nikki White. Find out more here.

SI Course Calendar

We look forward to a medley of courses this month and throughout the autumn. View calendar here.

SI Module 1 - Online

SI 1 Online continues to flourish with over half the capacity already signed up. If you want to book your place, you can do so here.

“I Want To Be A Spaceman…”

Teaching Assistants may hear students’ career aspirations. Tim Peake wanted to be an astronaut and achieved his dream. This fascinating news item about the effects of space on the body may make you think again about this popular childhood aspiration!

Brain Traffic Control

An easy-read article from the BBC news website that compares brain networks with airline networks.

7 Facts About Balance

Seven facts about balance, featuring the vestibular system and proprioception.

Reducing Motion Sickness

This short feature and video explains the ‘sensory mismatch’ that causes motion sickness, and offers tips to reduce the nausea it creates. (NB skip the survey to read article.)

Message for EmphaSIze readers from Zoe Mailloux

The ASI 2020 Vision continues to move ahead toward all goals!

Goal 1: Currently, 32 papers which advance understanding of ASI have been reviewed and are listed on the website.

Goal 2: The EASI now includes measures of tactile, proprioception and vestibular functions of sensory perception, as well tests of praxis, bilateral integration, postural and ocular mechanisms and bilateral integration, all of which are being pilot tested in the US. A final set of measures are being field tested now. These initial efforts will be followed by international normative data collection by 2018!

Goal 3: An international group has formed and is in process to develop and promote standards for education and training in ASI.

A Challenge From The ESIC Chair

The next European Sensory Integration Congress is now only 9 months away. ESIC2017 Chair, Elisabeth Soechting, has whetted the appetite with a photo-call in front of a Viennese landmark, inviting you to take your own photo there next year.

The ESIC 2017 team are also inviting abstracts for the European Congress.

Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Paula Aquilla, Ellen Yack, Shirley Sutton and Carol Kranowitz

An easy-read book aimed at teaching assistants, parents, and all who work with young children, but also broad enough to be adapted for older children and adults. Winner of the Summer 2015 Academics' Choice Smart Book Award. See more.

Answers To Questions Teachers Ask About Sensory Integration: Forms, Checklists and Practical Tools

Jane Koomar, Carol Kranowitz, Stacey Szklut and Lynn Balzer-Martin

This handbook has been around for several years, but remains a gem. See more.

See August 2016 EmphaSIze for details of ‘How to Support Pupils with Sensory Processing Needs’ by Lois Addy.

Cursive Writing Wizard Letters

Learn how to write cursive letters and words by tracing shapes, which can be adjusted in size. Success is rewarded with vibrant visual and auditory feedback. A non-cursive version is also available. See more.

Autism Discovery Tool

Play and learn ‘what is happening behind the behaviour’, including sensory experiences and language, fostering empathy and understanding. See more.


Designed for medical professionals and medical students, this app teaches about the semicircular canals of the vestibular system and its disorders. See more.

New Job Vacancies

Paediatric Occupational Therapist - Beanstalk Children's Therapy, East of England

Occupational Therapist - Autism Rocks Support Centre FZ-LLC, Dubai, UAE

Occupational Therapist - The Cambian Group, South West

Paediatric Occupational Therapist - Kids in Sync, London

Band 6 Specialist Paediatric Therapist - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, West Midlands

Occupational Therapist - Sunfield Children's Homes Ltd, West Midlands

See more

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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.

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Therapists can join for only £50 for 12 months. 

Cathy Warne +44( 0)118 324 1588

Thanks for contributions from Zoe Mailloux and Elisabeth Soechting. Cathy Warne would like to give special thanks to all those who have supported her in the Editorial role, and to thank and pass best wishes to readers of EmphaSIze.

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.

New Social Media Team Members

This month we welcome some new administrators to the Social Media Team, including Jane Woodburn (OT), Jackie Meadows (PT), Emma Snowdon (PT) and Alison Dear (SLT). It is great to see members from three different therapy professions joining the team. More to follow in coming months.

Popular Social Media Posts

The Olympics have dominated the main SI Network Facebook page in August. Favourite features included parenting tips from Michael Phelps’ Mother regarding ADHD in children; a feature on how sport benefits the brain; an appreciation of the Sensory Integration of gymnast Simone Biles; and observations on how much the Rio 2016 logo looks like the semicircular canals of the vestibular system!

A video of a boy with Autism and high anxiety who is enjoying going outdoors thanks to Pokemon Go has proved very popular, along with an article on infant and toddler activity, and a video clip of a ‘Mini Rocky’ toddler who has excellent imitation praxis.

SI Network Forum

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Learning Words In Classrooms

A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that the presence of background noise in the home or at school makes it more difficult for toddlers to learn new words. See more

M&S Back To School In Style

There have been a lot of conversations this month on our Facebook page and wider social networks, around the recent news story about M&S launching autism-friendly school wear, with thousands of Facebook shares. What a great idea! Still available to buy online here.

Auditory Cortex Structure

Harvard University researchers and colleagues have found that the neural architecture in the auditory cortex - the part of the brain that processes sound - is virtually identical in profoundly deaf and hearing people. The study raises a host of new questions about the role of experience in processing sensory information. See more. 

Gonge Top

Rock side to side, spin or use this cone-shaped Top for imaginative play. Primarily stimulates the vestibular receptors, with potential tactile and praxic development qualities. See more.

Calm Kids Classroom Pack (50 pieces)

A bulk pack of fidget items to help students concentrate and relieve stress in a classroom setting. See more.

Foundations for Tennis Stars

Teaching Assistants and others may find these low-cost developmental activity ideas helpful, that Judy Murray used with Andy and Jamie Murray when they were children. See more.

Development of the Classroom Sensory Environment Assessment (CSEA)

Heather Miller Kuhaneck and Jaqueline Kelleher - The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 69(6) pp 1-9

The Classroom Sensory Environment Assessment(CSEA) is a tool that helps understand the impact of a classroom's sensory environment on student behavior. It can be used by a Teacher to rate their classroom environment, or in conjunction with a tool such as the SPM to consider any match or mismatch between a classroom environment and the needs of a student. See more.

Playground Behaviors of Children with and without Sensory Processing Disorders

Joanna Cosbey, Susan S. Johnston, [et al] M. Louise Dunn, Mari Bauman - OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 32(2), pp39-47

This study compares the playground play behaviours of children with SPD and those of their typically developing peers. There were qualitative differences in the play behaviours of the two groups, including conflict, social play, access to play opportunities, and awareness of social cues. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. See more.

How Sensory Experiences Affect Adolescents with an Autistic Spectrum Condition within the Classroom

F.E.J. Howe and S.D. Stagg - Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (46), pp1656-1668

This study used the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile and a qualitative questionnaire to investigate sensory issues in school children with ASC. The AASP found that the participants’ mean scores were outside normal parameters. Participants reported difficulties in at least one sensory domain, with hearing affecting them the most. Results suggest that schools need to create sensory profiles for each individual with ASC. See more.

Eating Made Easier the Sensory Way

As a parent or therapist new to sensory integration this three day course will introduce you to sensory integration and how it links to development, learning and participation in everyday life, with a particular focus on eating while considering related oral motor difficulties.
Audience: Open to all
Date: 5th to 7th September 2016 
Venue: Liverpool.
Fee: £555 See more.

Sensory Strategies for Everyone – The Magic of Muscle Stretch and Heavy Work

This one day course will explore the sense of proprioception – the sense that comes from moving our muscles. Often forgotten, ignored and definitely under-rated, proprioception makes daily life possible.
Audience: Open to all
Date:17th September 2016 
Venue: Birmingham.
Fee: £155 See more.

Feeding Difficulties and Sensory Issues

This two day course explores different types of feeding difficulties related to sensory issues.
Audience: Open to therapists
Date:19-20th September 2016 
Venue: Dublin.
Fee: £370 See more.

Extra SI Module 1 date released

Due to popular demand we have released an additional classroom SI Module 1 course - the starting module to qualify as an SI practitioner.
Audience: OTs, PTs & SLTs
Date: 28 Nov to 2 Dec 2016. 
Venue: Birmingham
Fee: £975. Places limited. Payment plans available. See more.

SI Module 2/3: From Assessment to Interpretation

This course aims to develop the participants’ skills in evaluation and clinical reasoning based on a sensory integration framework. 
Audience: OTs, PTs & SLTs
Date: 10-14 Oct 2016 & 9-14 Jan 2017
Venue: Birmingham
Fee: £1950. Places limited. Payment plans available. See more.

Sensory Attachment Intervention: Level 1 

This Sensory Attachment Intervention level 1 introduces therapists to sensory-attachment intervention and teaches how to:

- differentiate between sensory and attachment based behaviours;
- treat sensory integration disorders;
- adapt sensory integration interventions for attachment-trauma.

Audience: OTs, PTs & SLTs
Date: Block 1:  7-10 Feb 2017 and Block 2: 18-19 May 2017 
Venue: Harrogate
Fee: £1300. Payment plans available. See more.

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. See here for on-site course details.

New! Online SI Course Brochures for Parents, Schools and Therapists.

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Sensory Integration Education, Old Breedon School, 8 Reading Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7LY, UK


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