Sensory Integration Education Newsletter 1st March 2019
Prompted by a reader enquiry, this month we are focusing on transitions between childhood to adulthood, with links to SI. We hope you will find useful ideas among the featured items.
Congratulations to Belén 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.
News Review from SIE
This month we are delighted to welcome a large group of therapists from around the world to the online PGCert: SI Module 3 Clinical Reasoning and Practice in Sensory Integration: Intervention. On successful completion, this third step of the Accredited SI Modular Pathway provides participants with Sensory Integration Practitioner Status and also awards them a Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Integration from Ulster University.
SIE Research Grant Awarded
Congratulations to Occupational Therapist, Helen Justice, who has recently been awarded a research grant from the SIE Research Committee. This will enable her to devise and carry out a survey of current practice of intellectual disability occupational therapists, whose practice is informed by sensory integration. We wish Helen all the best with her study and look forward to bringing you more news about it later in the year.
Transitions from Childhood to Adulthood
Working with teenagers as they transition to adult services is a vital area of service provision, especially for those with long-term conditions including challenges in sensory integration and sensory processing. Here are snapshots of practice from two of our OT members, Pip Lenton and Sandi O’Neill.
SI in the News
In February, Mencap promoted their 'Treat Me Well' campaign, which seeks reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities accessing hospitals. These include the provision of quieter places to wait and have appointments, the use of hospital passports identifying needs, likes and dislikes, which could include sensory processing needs.
The BBC followed a 20 year old man with Autism on his first solo shopping experience.
Global SI News
ISIC HK 2019 have updated details of the scientific committee, who review papers submitted for presentation in the congress.
Mental Health awareness was in the press a lot last month. This post on the SIE Facebook page links to 7 steps to improve self-esteem, key when transitioning from the familiarity of schools.
This Facebook post links to a research article on how our olfactory system develops from childhood through to adulthood (so that we can be wine connoisseurs!). A foetus can discriminate odorous molecules after 30 weeks gestation - this really is incredible science.
This 4-hour online course will provide an introduction to sensory integration and processing difficulties. Find out why sensory integration is part of everyone’s development and learning and how it is critical to help us all to participate in daily life. Consider a range of sensory strategies and environmental adaptations that can be used to facilitate engagement in activities.
Participants: Open to all
The aim of this module is to enable you to understand the current neuroscience, and the relevant and emergent theories, concepts, and practices, related to Ayres’ Sensory Integration. You will be able to relate sensory processing to the underlying neurology and evidence base of sensory integration.
Date: 29 April 2019. This is a 16 week online course. (Bookings close 29 March 2019)
Fee: £899 (Payment plans and Bundle discounts available)
Participants: Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists and Physiotherapists. Professionals from other backgrounds can apply for SI Module 1 only. All applicants must have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University.
Find a Therapist
Finding Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists and Physiotherapists is easy with the SI Network's No 1 Therapist directory.
Lead Editor - Cathy Warne, Editor - Kate Bradley
If you have some extraordinary SI News you wish to share and celebrate through the Network, please let us know.
High School Transition Team Members’ Perception of Occupational Therapy–Conducted Transition Assessments
Trujillo, C., Carr, M., Poach, M. (2018) - American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
This AJOT poster proposes four areas that occupational therapists should incorporate when assessing students who are planning to transition. These are occupational performance, vocational interests, sensory processing, and self-determination.
Specific Needs of Families of Young Adults with Profound Intellectual Disability During and After Transition to Adulthood: What are we Missing?
Gauthier-Boudreault, C., Gallagher, F., & Couture, M. (2017) - Research in developmental disabilities, 66, 16-26
Using semi-structured interviews with 14 families, insight was gained into the transition process for young people with intellectual disabilities. It concludes with the suggestion that each young person and family has support that is tailored to their specific needs, rather than one model fits all.
Q & A
Q: We received a question from Alex regarding the challenge of "finding sensory chews that are robust enough for many adults who crave that oral sensory feedback but have a very strong adult bite." Alex said that their team often recommend crunchy foods and similar, but would welcome other suggestions for "something that these individuals can use safely that they can really chew on". What alternative strategies and advice might you be able to offer to Alex and colleagues?
A: Belén described that, in her experience, there is an individual starting point. For example, looking together at the foods the person enjoys and then considering the tastes and textures that they already experience and tolerate. Belén said that building this awareness has lead to some clients enjoying adding spices to their foods, which has helped with the oral cravings that they were having. Spending time with individuals and creating a personalised ‘diet’ of oral sensory tools has been really supportive for clients. Some further examples include flavoured chewing gum, adding tastes to lip balms and water or thinner/thicker straws.
Got a Question? If you have a question that you would like answered, let us know here.
Q: In keeping with this month’s theme, would readers like to send us up to five brief Top Tips for preparing a person who has sensory integration difficulties, for the transition to adulthood?
Got an answer? Win a £25 Amazon voucher
A: Answer the above question here by the 14th of the month and the best reply will win a £25 Amazon voucher.
By Siobhan Timmins
‘Successful Social Articles into Adulthood: Growing Up with Social Stories’ provides stories such as applying for a job, adjusting to a work environment and staying safe. These templates are a great starting point and you can use your SI expertise to add detail on sensory considerations to the stories, so that the young person and people working with them have information that they need, especially when venturing into the world of work.
By Robyn Steward
‘The Independent Woman's Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum’ is an interesting read. Covering topics such as friendships, relationships and sex, sensory needs and employment, with tips and interviews with women on and off the autistic spectrum; a wealth of advice is offered.
More families and services are turning to technology to help capture a young person's view, voice and interests. Something that has become popular is using a wiki page. A simple webpage that a young person can either populate themselves or with support, which provides the large teams that work with the person an insight into them, without the person or advocate having to repeat themselves. You can add voice clips, videos, pictures, links to favourite websites and it can easily be updated. This webpage gives a great overview to get started. Just remember e-safety rules apply when uploading anything to the internet!
The National Autistic Society provides advice about strategies and support that can help during key life transitions, with sensory issues frequently considered.
The American Occupational Therapy Association provide a guide for the role of occupational therapists in supporting transitions from childhood to adulthood.
This Preparing for Adulthood Outcomes Tool is an incredibly useful document, as it supports staff working with children to consider the four EHCP outcomes from a young age, so that at the point of the transition, the young person is more prepared. From an SI point of view, your skills will be needed to add to these considerations, but this is a great starting point!
If you or a client are heading to university, completing assignments can be a challenge and remembering to keep an accurate reference list so that you meet the requirements is essential. With EasyBib you scan the barcode and it automatically generates a citation for you and is compatible with many of the popular referencing styles. This can be really useful for students that struggle with processing visual information for example.
Covering London, Birmingham and Manchester in the UK as well as cities around the world, Citymapper is an essential app if you are off to experience a new city and need an easy to use app to get around. It shows routes, prices, wheelchair accessible options, ways to stay out of the rain and even calories if you fancy walking or cycling.
Are you looking to recruit an SI professional? Post your vacancy from only £149.
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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.
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