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SIE Newsletter 1st April 2019

Welcome to this Spring edition of EmphaSIze.  It is World Autism Awareness Week 1-7 April 2019 so several of this month’s features are linked to Autism.

We have brought our members some great new offers this month: 10% discount from our preferred suppliers including Southpaw, Rompa and Chewigem. Plus a new Early Bird Offer: secure your course bookings early and save an extra 5% discount on course fees!

Congratulations to Laura who answered the March question, and won a £25 Amazon voucher.

Cathy Warne, Editor

  News Review from SIE

SI Module 3 Clinical Reasoning and Practice in Sensory Integration: Intervention Online Now

We are thrilled to report that our online SI Module 3: Clinical Reasoning and Practice in Sensory Integration: Intervention is now underway with a large cohort of students from 12 different countries.

New Early Bird Offer!

Get an extra 5% discount on our courses* by booking at least 2 months before the course registration closes. Open to Gold/Silver members, use as many times as you like. Valid from today (1 April 2019). Be an Early Bird get the 5% discount!

(*Terms and conditions apply)

Meet a Member

Read how sensory integration informs practice for two occupational therapists working in Autism roles:  Jill McCanney as a Trainer/ Advisor and Rachel Ferguson as a Researcher.

Have you got your finger on the SI pulse?

We are looking for an SI News Curator. If you are an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or speech & language therapist member who enjoys keeping up to date on latest news, journal articles, research, equipment, books, apps, videos and blogs connected with sensory integration topics, the see here for more information. This freelance role is home-based, 5 hours per week, £25 per hour.

  SI in the News

Neuroscience News 

A new study reports that researchers have identified a pathway near the midbrain where neural messages for taste and pain converge.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Actress Amy Schumer has shared that her husband has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Learning Difficulties

A writer in The Guardian appealed for “a cultural shift in the way we see specific learning difficulties”.

Child's Play

A father described how learning about the vestibular and proprioceptive senses helped him better understand child’s play.

  Global SI News

SIE Representatives to travel to AOTA Annual Conference and Expo, April 4-7 2019

One of the many initiatives taking place in our Silver Jubilee Year is to send three SIE Representatives to the April 2019 AOTA Annual Conference and Expo, to meet with international colleagues and experts, present and listen to new research and report back to our members.  Look out for the updates on social media and in our forthcoming publications from Lelanie Brewer (OT and Head of Education Programmes), Gina Daly (OT) and Amy Stephens (SLT).

ESIC 2019 Update

ESIC Thessaloniki 2019 is coming up soon. Have you seen the programme?

ISIC HK 2019 Update

ISIC HK 2019 announced that 15 countries so far are represented by delegates attending their conference, the theme of which is “An International Journey of Innovation, Identification and Intervention in ASI®”. 


Autism TMI Virtual Reality Experience

If you are hosting any World Autism Awareness Week activities, this app from the National Autistic Society is designed to be used with a VR headset or cardboard goggles. It aims to give you an experience of how overwhelming a shopping experience is.

Model Me Going Places 2

Model Me Going Places 2 is an app designed to help children navigate complex situations in the community, such as going to the dentist. It uses a set of pictures that you can talk through with the child prior to going.

Making resources person specific, and of the actual place, will always be much more beneficial, but if you want ideas on how to do this, or are very short of time, this could be a useful app.


Introduction to Sensory Integration Difficulties

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.

Online course, Starts each weekday. Open to all

Fee: £49.00

Online SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience

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: 9 September 2019. This is a 16 week online course. (Bookings close 9 August 2019)

Fee: £949 (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.


‘I definitely feel more in control of my life’: The perspectives of young autistic people and their parents on emerging adulthood

Cribb, S., Kenny, L., & Pellicano, E. (2019)

Following on from last month’s theme of transitioning to adulthood, this paper has followed young autistic people and their families for over 12 years to gain their views as they move into adulthood. Pellicano, one of the authors, has said on Twitter ‘This is one of the papers of which I am most proud’.

Occupational Therapy Interventions for Children and Youth With Challenges in Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing: A Clinic-Based Practice Case Example

Parham, L. D., Clark, G. F., Watling, R., & Schaaf, R. (2018). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73 (1), 7301395010p1-7301395010p9.

This paper looks at a clinic based therapist and a school based therapist working together. Interventions are informed by findings from a systematic review.

  Q & A

Q: Last month we asked for Top Tips for preparing a person who has sensory integration difficulties, for the transition to adulthood?

A:  “I always like to spend time with young adults looking at their sensory experiences and like to use, if they are able to, the sensory ladders to identify their different states of regulation/arousal and strategies they can use to get to the just right state. We plan, when  using oral motor tools like chewing gum or really chewy foods or thick drinks to straws, to help when dysregulated such as when using public transport or in a new setting.

Often we look at isometrics to provide increased proprioception and deep pressure tactile input to regulate such as chair push ups and joint compression, that can be self administered and can be useful but discreet. We look at other opportunities within the waking day to fit activities that they find help to maintain their calm and alert state;  such as getting off the bus a stop earlier to fit in a walk and using white noise apps and weighted rucksacks.  It is also useful to develop a sensory passport to share with future employers, colleagues or support staff.” Laura 

Got a Question? If you have a question that you would like answered, let us know here.

Q: Neurodiversity Celebration Week takes place in the UK during May. If you were asked to talk to parents or colleagues about the contribution of sensory integration to helping address challenges faced by people with neurodiversity what key messages would you want to give? 

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.

  Social Media

Emotional Turmoil

Useful for all teenagers is knowing how to cope with emotional turmoil, even more so if you have autism and it is hard to work out what others are thinking or feeling and why.

Consider the young person you are working with, as some may find this too abstract, but using a glitter globe could be a nice metaphor.

Exercise and the Brain

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.


Creating Autism Champions

By Joy Beaney

Joy Beaney has written a book on ‘Creating Autism Champions’. It has resources and assembly plans that you can use straight from the book. EmphaSIze editor, Kate Bradley, has used this book herself and feels that adding your SI knowledge and tweaking them to suit the needs of the children you are working with makes it an even more valuable resource.

We're Amazing 1, 2, 3!

 By Leslie Kimmelman

Sesame Street’s ‘We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3!’ is a really excellent book for using with children under 5 (and over!) for sharing awareness and understanding of a child with autism, including sensory needs. There is a great video that goes with this too. 


Bluetooth Headphones

Some teenagers may like to use these inexpensive bluetooth headphones when needed, then fold up easily and carry in a backpack. Great for those with auditory hyper-reactivity who want to look cool. Thank you to our reader Suz for sending in this product recommendation.

Opti Trampoline

Many children and adults with autism, also have sensory processing difficulties. A really popular and cost effective piece of equipment is a mini trampoline, as it can offer a large amount of proprioceptive input.


Autism Tips

A useful set of nine tips for supporting parents and children written by a Doctor from the National Autistic Society and a parent. 

Autism and Education 

The Autism Education Trust is a Department of Education funded organisation with the primary aim of helping children and young people with autism to an education, enabling them to reach their potential. The website is an excellent resource, in particular the Kids Section for videos and information sheets. 

Chat with Lindsey Biel OTR/L about Sensory Challenges

New York Occupational Therapist and author, Lindsey Biel, describes sensory processing challenges in a new audio interview podcast.


Are you looking to recruit an SI professional? Post your vacancy from only £149.

  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 SIE, please let us know.

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Copyright © 2019 SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd. All rights reserved. You are receiving this newsletter as you are a member of Sensory Integration Education. Our mailing address is: Sensory Integration Education, Old Breedon School, 8 Reading Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7LY, UK. support@sensoryintegrationeducation.com   www.sensoryintegrationeducation.com

SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd trading as Sensory Integration Education. Company number 05068304.

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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