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SI Network Newsletter 1st December 2016

Have Yourself a Sensory Filled Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all our readers! Kate and I are especially excited about this issue as Christmas is our favourite time of year. We are so excited that we have created our very own Top 10 Christmas Gifts for everyone. Christmas is full of amazing sensory opportunities from tactile and visual decorations to the glorious smells and tastes that come out of the festive kitchen. We’ve focused on the articles and resources exploring the sensory seeking that so many of us exhibit at this time of year. So sit back, relax and enjoy catching up on the festive news from the SI Network.

Nikki White

  SI Network News

ESIC 2017 - Visiting Scholar Award

This award is open to Advanced SI Practitioners, who have completed their MSc through Ulster University, carrying out SI related research.

Kath Smith highly commended at OT Show Awards

Director and Chair of Innovation and Development, Kath Smith, was highly commended in the Senior OT of the Year category of the OT Awards, announced at the OT Show in the NEC, last week. 

Ongoing CPD as part of a regional group

We recently caught up with Simon Curtis, Advanced SI Practitioner OT at Hannah’s Place, to find out more about the South West Regional Network group, what happens when they meet, the benefits to the members and what is going on in that region. 

Are you near a regional group? See here.

Meet a member

Claire Smith, one of our advanced practitioner members, has discovered a great way of getting her daily dose of proprioceptive input and fun at the same time. 

 SI in the Media

Scent and Sensibility

An easy reading article on the impact smells have on us on a day to day basis.

  SI Global

ASI 2020 Vision

Get involved with the latest news, information and inspiration from the Ayres 2020 Vision community.

European SI Congress 2017

Keep up to date with preparations for the European SI Congress in Vienna next year by visiting the website or Facebook page.

  SI Social

 Proprioception and Handwriting 

Popular on the SI Network Facebook page this month is a study looking at proprioception and handwriting. Using the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT), the study found that a higher kinetic sense was associated with better legibility of handwriting. Good to bear in mind when asking the children to write their thank-you letters.

SI Network Forum

Ask a question - Provide an answer! 


Toddler Christmas

Katie Saunders

Toddler Christmas is not just a book for toddlers-packed with festive craft and cooking ideas, this book has activities for all ages at Christmas.

Bag Books

Bag Books sells a range of sensory story bags, including tactile, visual and auditory props to support the storytelling. Check out this gorgeous nativity story bag!

Christmas Baking for Children

Fiona Patchett

Cooking can be a brilliant way to support people who have tactile adversities and to create smells that remind us all of Christmas. For some festive cookery ideas this book includes lots of recipes, great for working on fine motor skill development too!.

  SI Membership - Join today

Silver & Gold SI Network annual membership includes:

  • Latest news & research on sensory integration
  • 25% discount off selected course fees
  • Instalment plan options
  • Webshop discounts
  • Members-only resources
  • Plus lots more


Introduction to Sensory Integration Difficulties

This one-day course will provide an introduction to sensory integration difficulties including autism.

Audience:  Open to all

Date:  10 December 2016

Venue:  London

Fee:  £155. Payment plan available.  

Feeding Difficulties and Sensory Issues

This 2 day course explores different types of feeding difficulties related to sensory issues.  Many of the children treated in occupational therapy for sensory integration disorders experience difficulties with feeding. Sensory issues are often overlooked, or misinterpreted as behavioural problems. This course is about clinical reasoning concerning children who are very selective in their food choices, or refuse to eat without apparent cause.

Audience:  Therapists

Date:  9-10 February 2017

Venue:  Birmingham

Fee:  £370. Payment plan available.  

Courses, Workshops and Events for Everyone

Hold a course at your venue 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.


Are you looking to recruit an SI professional? Post your vacancy from only £99.

 Missed an issue?

Catch up on Free back issues of EmphaSIze

November 2016 - Put a little sparkle in your life with Sensory Integration:

October 2016 - Strictly Sensory Integration
September 2016 - Teaching Support & Vestibular Processing
August 2016 - Skills for Sport
July 2016 - Summer time Challenges
June 2016 - Tackling Mental Health Issues
May 2016 - The A Word
April 2016 - Asperger's Syndrome


Top 10 Christmas Gifts 

A comment I often hear from parents I work with is the difficulties they have at this time of year buying gifts or giving gift recommendations to family members for their children. Here are Kate and my top 10 sensory present ideas for Christmas 2016. 

 Holiday Party Advent Calendar

I LOVE this! Yankee candles are back this festive season with their olfactory advent calendar. Each day has a different scent to get you in the festive mood!

 LED Hula Hoop

This LED Hula hoop will give hours of fun!

 Bath Spa

Turn any bath into a spa bath.


Boules is a great classic game for some weighted input.

 Finger Lights

These finger lights are fun for any age.

 Pin Art

This tactile pin shifter provides unique tactile feedback that saves on the mess.

 Glowcrazy Doodle Dome

This black out tent also has a torch pen which allows you to draw UV on the walls.


The bilibo is great for vestibular feedback as you can rock and spin.

 Gorilla Gym

A doorway swing that can be used on most doorways.

 Rompa Sensory Gift Selection

Rompa have taken the stress out of selecting a sensory gift this year with their Santa gift selection! Simply choose the age range and price range you are shopping for and they return a wonderful selection of sensory product ideas. 


Elf Yourself

Possibly my favourite app that exists. Hours of fun will be had by all turning yourselves into dancing Christmas Elves. Try and recreate the dance moves to work on coordination skills. Apple  Android

Sleeps To Christmas

We know that people can sometimes struggle with changes to routine. Support preparation to the holiday season with the Sleeps To Christmas Lite countdown app. Apple


Christmas Sensory Tray

Create a Christmas sensory tray for children and adults to explore the sights, smells and textures of Christmas. Pinterest always has lots of suggestions. Don't forget to stock up in the sales in preparation for next year!

Aroma Diffuser

Create the smells of Christmas or provide a soothing environment using this aroma diffuser from Muji. 


Nostalgia: a Neuropsychiatric Understanding

Alan R. Hirsch (1992) ,"Nostalgia: a Neuropsychiatric Understanding", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 19, eds. John F. Sherry, Jr. and Brian Sternthal, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 390-395.

An interesting article looking at the impact our senses has on our limbic system. It links different sensations to nostalgia, an important connection for those working with clients with memory loss.

Olfaction and Taste Processing in Autism

Loisa Bennetto, Emily S. Kuschner, Susan L. Hyman: Biological Psychiatry Journal

A study looking at olfaction and taste processing in people with autism. The study found differences in taste recognition, which the study suggests shows cortical rather than brainstem dysfunction. 

 SensorNet Magazine

Silver and Gold Members can download the latest SensorNet Magazine and all the back issues. 

Are you still a Bronze Member? Upgrade your membership today.

  Find a Therapist

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


Lead Editor - Nikki White 

Support Editor - Kate Bradley

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 nicola.white@sensoryintegration.org.uk 

or kate.bradley@sensoryintegration.org.uk

Copyright © 2016 SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd. All rights reserved. You are receiving this newsletter as you are a member of the SI Network. Our mailing address is: SI Network, 27A High Street, Theale, RG7 5AH, UK. support@sensoryintegration.org.uk www.sensoryintegration.org.uk

emphaSIze disclaimer

  • The information provided in this newsletter is designed to provide helpful information on sensory integration and related difficulties.

  • This is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to treat any sensory integration difficulties, unless this is by an allied health professional with recognised advanced postgraduate education in sensory integration (SI AHP), who does so at their own discretion.

  • For diagnosis of sensory integration difficulties or other medical problems please consult your own GP or SI AHP.

  • The publisher and authors are not responsible for any specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision or other interventions and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation, to any person reading or following the information in this newsletter including SI AHPs who use this information at their own discretion and within existing professional specific guidelines and local policy and protocols.

  • Links, resource ideas and references are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any product, website or other sources. Readers should be aware that information on any websites listed in this newsletter may change.

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