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Accredited, High-Quality Sensory Integration Courses

 News and Updates

  • 23 Dec 2020 13:49 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Like you, we hope 2021 brings the return of so many things: live sporting and cultural events; travel; get-togethers with the people you like, love and care about; and, simply, just greater freedom and a sense of normality. But, as well as ‘getting back to normal’, there are so many areas where we can move forward to improved daily experiences and this has been our motivation to launch these new online courses in 2021:

    Understanding Sensory Processing and Integration in Adults with Learning Disabilities

    This online course is aimed at parents and carers caring for adults with learning disabilities. This short course will help you better understand the senses and how we process information from our senses. It will introduce you to what sensory issues can look like in an adult with learning disabilities behaviour and engagement, and give you a toolkit of ideas on how to support a person’s sensory needs at home.

    Understanding Sensory Processing and Integration in Teenagers and Young Adults - A Guide for Parents and Carers

    Aimed at parents and carers of teens living with sensory processing and integration challenges, this online course will introduce you to what sensory issues can look like in a teenager’s behaviour and engagement. You will come away with a toolkit of ideas on how to support a teen’s sensory needs at home.

    Sensory Integration and Trauma

    In addition to our regular live, online training day SI, Attachment and Trauma, we are launching this new online course aimed at professionals working in health, social care and education. It focuses on younger children through to teens but staff working with clients outside of this age range will still be able to apply concepts to their areas of work. The online course will provide professionals with an understanding of how trauma and attachment influences sensory processing and integration, as well as how using this knowledge can help them better understand the clients that they work with.

    Sensory Integration and ASD

    This online course is aimed at professionals who would like to develop or further develop an understanding of sensory integration within the autistic population. This course aims to develop participants’:

    • understanding of typical presentations and sensory integration and processing needs of autistic children;
    • ability to use knowledge of the different subtypes of ASD (eg PDA) to support the selection of sensory-based strategies;
    • awareness of how sensory processing difficulties affects a child’s participation in daily activities, including feeding, school functioning, community participation and dressing; and
    • awareness of when to signpost to a qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner.
    Sensory Integration and Mental Health

    Aimed at professionals working in mental health services, this online course will provide participants with an understanding of how sensory integration and processing relates to everything we do in our day to day living and how this can apply to people living with mental health difficulties / diagnoses. It will describe sensory integration and processing difficulties in layman’s terms and support participants to start to recognise participation challenges, often seen in people with mental health difficulties / diagnoses, that would be potential red flags that could signify a difficulty. It will discuss when to refer on for a full sensory integration assessment. And finally, it will look at sensory related environmental factors, activities and lifestyle choices which will support or add to protective factors for the person living with a mental health difficulty / diagnosis.

    Supporting Individuals with Feeding Difficulties. Sensory Integration in Practice. A Multidisciplinary Perspective.

    Feeding is one of the most complex things we require our bodies to do because it involves every sensory system integrating information about our body and the world around us.

    This course is aimed at therapists, dieticians, psychologists and teachers working with children described as fussy or picky eaters and those with feeding difficulties or challenges.

    The course will be delivered by Laura Osman, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Therapist, Feeding Therapist and Teacher and Louisa Hargett, a Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Therapist, Feeding Therapist and Teacher. Laura and Louisa are experienced in conducting complex multidisciplinary team feeding assessments and intervention for individuals and for school wide feeding interventions.

    This course will provide you with a multidisciplinary perspective to understanding the complexity of feeding and will provide strategies that will inform therapeutic and educational planning to support children with feeding difficulties to improve their relationship with food.

    By attending this course, you will learn the theory and what it means in practice. Teaching and learning will be supported with engaging presentations, photos, videos, quizzes and clinical discussions between Laura and Louisa.

    As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to sign up to an additional live webinar with Laura and Louisa who will be able to answer questions and deepen your knowledge of applying Sensory integration in practice to support individuals with feeding difficulties.

    Look Out for Booking Opening Announcements

    All these courses are accessibly-priced and accessible 24/7 online for your convenience. Comprising interactive slides, voice-over, animations, videos, quizzes, a written transcript and many resources to download, our online courses have built a reputation for outstanding quality and value for money. Join Sensory Integration Education for free today to receive notice when these courses launch or follow our social media channels.

  • 18 Dec 2020 10:35 | SIE News (Administrator)
    These therapists successfully gained their Postgraduate Diploma in Sensory Integration and/or achieved Advanced Practitioner status this year… would you like to start your journey to advanced practitionership in 2021?

    Congratulations to this cohort of over 50 therapists who are now Advanced SI Practitioners:

    Becoming an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration

    Becoming an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration is more than ‘learning more about SI’: it’s about transforming your professional life by advancing your clinical skills within your particular setting and clinical population; enabling you to discerningly use and apply research in your day-to-day work life; and developing the confidence and ability to bring about positive change within your service. It’s the integration of these skills that creates the Advanced Practitioner.

    Our Postgraduate Diploma in SI, accredited by Sheffield Hallam University, was written using the NHS’s advanced clinical practice definition as our starting point:

    “It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. This is underpinned by a master’s level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area specific clinical competence. Advanced clinical practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes.”

    Your learning will be focused on:

    • Clinical practice
    • Clinical application of research
    • Clinical service development

    We recognise that therapists work in a wide range of settings and diverse populations and we’ve ensured the course content and assessment is appropriate for a variety of paediatric and adult clinical populations.

    Course content is delivered online via videos from international experts, videos from SIE Advanced Practitioners, animated presentations, case study vignettes, quizzes to check your learning, and independent study tasks. There are three clinically focused assessment pieces to complete. Our Advanced Practitioner Module e-Mentors will support you throughout and you can share questions and insights with your peers in your cohort’s forum. You’ll have access to the Sheffield Hallam University’s library resources and student support facilities. You can also access downloadable transcripts of the course for offline study.

    In order to continue to advance your ability to relate the theory to practice and embed your learning in real life clinical practice, you will undertake 20 hours of clinical practice supported by a Clinical Mentor. You will need to have access to at least one client who would benefit from an Ayres’ Sensory Integration approach to intervention and for whom you can offer key aspects of SI management. If you can’t access a Clinical Mentor within your workplace, we have a register of AP Clinical Mentors whom you can book. We have made accommodations to recognise the limitations of practising during pandemic restrictions: you can discuss your individual circumstances with your e-Mentor.

    Successful completion of SI Module 4 conveys 30 academic credits and Advanced SI Practitioner status. UK university academic credits are globally recognised and highly transferable. You will be listed as an AP in the Association of Sensory Integration Practitioners’ Register.

    The next cohort starts on 22 March 2021: start the new year with your CPD plan in place: find out more about qualifying as an Advanced Practitioner and gaining a PG Dip here.

    Here’s what some of our most recent Advanced Practitioners said about their experience:

    “Proud to be the first Syrian Advanced Sensory Integration therapist. This journey deserves all the time and effort I put in it. It was an amazing experience.” – Rouba Khair

    “I'm so excited to join the growing community of advanced SI practitioners.” - Deborah Dunne

    “I am very pleased for being awarded the Advanced SI Practitioner certificate. After completing all modules, I realised that my understanding of sensory integration was raised to a completely new level and it has been by far the best learning experience that I have ever had.” - Terry Ann Parnis

    “I’m thrilled to be a Speech and Language Therapist and now Advanced SI practitioner.” – Nicola Jenkins

    “I am passionate about sensory integration and am thankful to the Sensory Integration Education team for the support over the past 5 years. My SI journey is very much beginning, and the SIE course has provided me with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead on the development of an NHS OT Sensory Service in West Yorkshire.” – Victoria Cureton-Favager

    “Honoured to have obtained this with great support from Ulster University, Sensory Integration Education and positive mentorship.” – Elaine Chaplin

    “I am grateful for Jean Ayres’ pioneering work that spotlighted the importance of neuroscience. Her efforts and the continued efforts of those that have followed her are responsible for sensory integration now being considered mainstream.”Kimberly Elter

    “Thank you to Cathy and Gina, who were very supportive mentors during the duration of Module 4. We adapted quickly to studying during a global pandemic and working on the core competencies to become Advanced Practitioners in SI. Well done to all the new Advanced Practitioners.” - Eleanor McStay

    “Like lots of other people, I had only intended to start with the first module! Once I saw what a difference SI could make, I knew I had to push past my fears of studying again and keep learning. It was tough but having the support and encouragement of a brilliant mentor and the lovely friends I made on the course got me through.” - Colette Nuttall

    “Engaging in SI4 has enabled me to develop my skills and confidence as both an OT and SI practitioner. I have increased my skill set and passion to confidently and effectively engage with children and families and to consider ways of best adapting ASI sessions to fit the unique needs of each child and family.” – Dawn Parvin

    “This is my furthest achievement as an SI Practitioner. I have had fun all along and it is the profound knowledge that makes it fun.” – Wisarat Prarakanont

    “SI Module 4 was an interesting challenge in lockdown. I’m now looking forward to putting my new learning into practice.” – Clare Rooke

    “The SI training has inspired my learning whilst opening up new opportunities in clinical practice. SI 4 is just the start of the next adventure and developing service provision. A massive thank you to everyone who supported me to reach this extraordinary goal.” – Beverley Roberts

    “Thank you all for this amazing journey. I will continue on the SI Pathway towards my Master's Degree, and later on my Ph.D. Looking forward to great discussions and learning outcomes.” – Cecilie Rothschild Henriksen

  • 17 Dec 2020 16:59 | SIE Support (Administrator)

  • 30 Nov 2020 11:24 | SIE News (Administrator)

    According to a new report by Sensory Integration Education (SIE), professionals working with people with sensory difficulties said the toughest challenge presented by the pandemic restrictions was being unable to deliver face-to-face therapy or support. Individuals with sensory difficulties and their families and carers reported that nearly a quarter had put their therapy or support on hold during the pandemic this summer. However, with schools closed and social events cancelled, nearly half of responding individuals and families said they appreciated the opportunity to stick to their home routines.

    The report, Sensory Challenges During a Pandemic: Providing and Accessing Therapy, explores how professionals working with people with sensory difficulties; individuals with sensory difficulties; and the parents or carers of people with sensory difficulties have coped during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in regard to the ability to deliver or access therapy for sensory difficulties.

    Between 5 October and 15 November 2020, SIE hosted two surveys - respondents comprised: 231 health and education professionals working with people with sensory challenges; 31 people with sensory challenges or their parents or carers. The majority of respondents were UK and Ireland based.

    What do we mean by sensory challenges?

    Sensory integration or processing difficulties are problems with organising and responding to information that comes in through the senses. People may be over sensitive to sensory input (they overreact to sensory input and can become overwhelmed and hyperactive); under sensitive (they underreact to sensory input or need more of it to function); or both depending on the kind of sensory input. Sensory integration difficulties often co-occur with other conditions including ADHD and autism.

    Based on the results of these surveys, the new report, Sensory Challenges During a Pandemic: Providing and Accessing Therapy, found the following:

    Of the professionals providing therapy and support during the pandemic:
    • 38% said the toughest challenge presented by the pandemic in relation to work was being unable to deliver face-to-face therapy or support.
    • 26% reported that the new ways of working or the inability to work under the pandemic restrictions had had a negative impact on their mental health.
    • 18% reported witnessing negative effects of the pandemic environment on their clients or pupils.
    • 31% reported increased waiting times for therapy or support.
    • Over 60% had delivered therapy via a video call; 76% had used video calls to keep in touch with clients/pupils.
    • 17% said that they had been furloughed, redeployed, working reduced hours or had lost their job during the pandemic.
    • 26% said that they had worked more hours than normal during the pandemic; 27% indicated they had worked fewer hours; and 48% said that their working hours had not changed.
    • 85% believed that the way they worked was permanently changed now.

    The respondents provided a wide range of advice and recommendations for professionals working in similar circumstances. See the full report for these.

    Of the people, families and carers accessing therapy and support during the pandemic:
    • 22% had accessed therapy/support by online or by phone; 9% had accessed therapy/support in person; a further 9% by a blend of virtual and in-person; 24% had their therapy put on hold; and 38% were not receiving therapy before the pandemic.
    • Reported negative effects of the pandemic restrictions included:
      • Missing usual therapeutic support; missing support from school; a frustration at being stuck in the house; anxiety about risk and hygiene measures; feelings of isolation; reduced opportunity for exercise and too much screen time; difficulty self-regulating and feeling overloaded and overwhelmed; as well as changes to routine.
    • Reported positive effects of the pandemic restrictions included:
      • 46% gave replies relating to be able to stick to home routines. Although 11% said that there were no positive aspects, other respondents found that their daily experience improved because they were not required to travel or attend sensory overwhelming situations such as school and social interactions. Several responses referred to feeling calmer and less stressed.
    Where do we go from here?

    It is clear that there is a big task ahead in resuming therapy and support for individuals and families but also in establishing better-planned working practices and conditions for the health and education professionals that are safe, effective and sustainable in the longer term. The impact on training and continuing professional development, particularly where access to clinical experience is reduced and the ability to work directly alongside colleagues is limited, will require innovative, flexible solutions. There is still so much we need to better understand: suggested research areas are listed at the end of the full report.

    SIE is very grateful to the survey participants who have contributed to a greater understanding of how the lockdown and subsequent ongoing pandemic restrictions to work and daily life have affected them.

    Access the full report here: Sensory Challenges During a Pandemic: Providing and Accessing Therapy

    Sensory Integration Education is a not-for-profit organisation providing world-class, transformational learning and a community of practice in the area of sensory integration since 1994.

  • 16 Nov 2020 14:12 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Struggling for ideas on what to get your sensory child, teenager or family member this Christmas? Have a look at these suggestions: there’s something for everyone with sensory needs: from babies to older children, from teens to adults and older people. We’ve included links for your convenience but these products, or similar, are available for a wide variety of suppliers (we do not earn commission from these suggestions).

    My First Baby Baby Ball Set

    With a variety of colours and textures, this ball set can help develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Suitable from birth. From Amazon.

    VATOS Tummy Time Baby Water Mat

    This tummy time water mat offers babies the opportunity for developing proprioception, vestibular and tactile processing. Aged 3 months plus. From Amazon.

    VTech Rock and Ride Unicorn Baby Ride On Toy

    This unicorn toy is a suitable support for babies when making their first steps, encouraging mobility and discovery. It can be used as a rocking toy or as a ride-on and push along toy to enhance gross motor skill development and lower body strength. Aged 18 months plus. From Amazon.

    MOLUK Bilibo Rocking and Spinning Toy

    For children between 2 and 7 years old, this toy can be used as a seat to spin and rock in or used for imaginative role play. From Amazon.

    Learning Resources Jumbo Droppers with Stand

    Great for developing fine motor skills, these jumbo pipettes can be used in lots of sensory play scenarios. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    Melissa & Doug Wooden Panels & Laces

    Practice fine motor skills with this pet-themed threading game. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    Huggaroo Puppy Weighted Lap Pad

    The Huggaroo puppy is a soft, weighted lap pad that can be used to relax and soothe. Wear it around the shoulders, across the lap or use as a tray/laptop pad. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    Lewo Wooden Rainbow Stacking Game

    These chunky, colourful, stacking blocks will fire imagination and develop fine motor skills. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    YOMERA Children's Pod Hammock Chair

    Indoor swing seats can help with self-regulation. Aged 3 years plus; maximum load 80 kg. From Amazon.

    Weighted Tumfort Soft Toys

    These soft, weighted toys are designed to calm and comfort by providing proprioceptive input. Aged 3 years plus. From Tumfort.

    Learning Resources Froggy Feeding Game

    Strengthening muscles needed for the pencil grip and developing fine motor skills, this game encourages the players to squeeze the frogs to collect the fly counters. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    OBEDA Fidget Toy Set

    Fidget toys, such as this selection, are good for keeping hands busy and developing fine motor skills. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    Spiky Stepping Stones by Southpaw

    These spiky stepping stones can be used in various challenging activities to develop motor skills and balance, while also providing a tactile foot massage when stepped on.

    From our Preferred Supplier Southpaw: Sensory Integration Education members can enjoy a 10% discount on this and other products by Southpaw. Simply log in to your SIE account for the discount code.

    Heroes of Goo Jit Zu

    This hot ticket item will be on many children’s wish list this year. The squishy, stretchy characters filled with textured beads provide interesting tactile feedback. Aged 3 years plus. From Amazon.

    Sensory Body Sock from Harkla

    Sensory body socks for children can help to soothe and calm and also encourage your child to explore their movements by pressing and stretching the material. Available in a range of sizes.

    From our Preferred Supplier Harkla: Sensory Integration Education members can enjoy a 10% discount on this and other products by Harkla. Simply log in to your SIE account for the discount code.

    Stretchy Mice and Cheese

    This fun stretchy fidget toy is great for finger dexterity, motor planning, developing fine motor skills. Aged 3 years plus. From the Therapy Shoppe.

    Giant Board Game

    Using the floor tiles, game cards and giant dice, get moving and build a board game around your house! Aged 5 years plus. From the Social Games Store.

    Gymnic Physio Roll Ball

    If your sensory integration therapist recommends the use of therapy balls at home, this one is useful for people with problems with balance and coordination. Seek advice from your therapist before using. Ages 6 years and up with adult supervision. From Amazon.

    SENDKEEL Push Bubble Sensory Fidget Toy

    For those who enjoy the sound and sensation of popping bubble wrap, this fidget toy can be used again and again. From Amazon.

    Chewellery from Chewigem

    Teens and adults who find it regulating to chew items, will appreciate this discreet Chewellery range that looks like ordinary jewellery.

    From our Preferred Supplier Chewigem: Sensory Integration Education members can enjoy a 10% discount on these and other products by Chewigem. Simply log in to your SIE account for the discount code.

    Sensory Sac

    These Sensory Sac beanbag chairs are suitable for children and adults, and offer a sense of deep pressure input. Each Sensory Sac chair is filled with a super-soft foam pellet beans and sealed in an inner liner. From SensoryEducation (not affiliated with Sensory Integration Education).

    Awesome OSM Fidget

    The Awesome OSM Fidget features six smooth interlocking, infinitely rotating links that are great for developing finger dexterity and exercising finger joints. Recommended for ages 4 to adults. From the Therapy Shoppe.

    iBoutique ColourJets USB Dancing Fountain Speaker

    The audio-visual quality of these dancing fountain speakers make them a great sensory gadget. The contained water fountains dance and light up in different colours in sync to every different beat.

    The speakers connect to a PC, Mac, smartphone including iPhone, MP3 player or any other device with an 3.5mm audio output. From Amazon.

    Twiddle Pup and Twiddle Cat

    Often used with the older adult population, these are great sensory aids for anyone who finds comfort in tactile stimulation. From AlzProducts.

    Sensory Gel Maze

    Suitable for children right through to older adults, this self-contained sensory gel maze is useful for working on finger isolation, strengthening finger muscles, enhancing tactile awareness, fidgeting, and providing proprioceptive input to fingers. From the Therapy Shoppe.

    Let us know if you find any other great sensory products!

  • 13 Nov 2020 10:25 | SIE News (Administrator)

    It's been an extraordinary year so we are hosting an extraordinary SIE Virtual Autumn Conference this year. We have some internationally-renowned names in the world of SI on our conference programme, discussing some fascinating topics and research.

    You can now book your FREE place to access these video presentations, which will be available from 27 November for one month only:

    • Welcome to the Virtual SIE Autumn Conference 2020: An introduction from Sensory Integration Education Chair, Rosalind Rogers
    • Sensory Integration Education Awards Ceremony: Hosted by SIE Fellow Dr Greg Kelly
    • A Qualitative Exploration into the Sensory Experiences of Autistic Mothers: an MSc research presentation by Moyna Talcer, Consultant Occupational Therapist and Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration
    • Higher Education Qualifications in Sensory Integration: An Introduction to the Partnership with Sheffield Hallam University: By Judith Mitchell, Collaborative Course Lead, College of Health and Wellbeing and Life Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University - UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality 2020
    • Keynote 2: Overview of the Sensory Processing 3 Dimensions Measure and Current Research by Dr Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR/L and Director of Research at STAR Institute
    • Sensory Friendly Solutions Podcast Conversations: brought to you by occupational therapist Christel Seeberger and the Sensory Friendly Solutions team, enjoy an introduction and three curated podcast episodes:
      • Hear from Maureen Bennie about her autism awareness mission and discovering the eighth sense.
      • Listen to bestseller, Carol Stock Kranowitz and her journey to write the Out of Sync Child.
      • Share in the brilliance of Dr. Winnie Dunn, occupational therapist, researcher and author of Living Sensationally.

    You can find out more about these first-class speakers here and you can book your free place here.

    By registering your place, you will also gain access to a downloadable Delegate Pack including discount vouchers - including a massive 25% discount on Bundy & Lane’s Sensory Integration Theory and Practice, 3rd Ed*, free entry into the draw to win a copy of this book, and your Certificate of Attendance for your CPD records.

    We would have loved to meet up with you all as normal this Autumn but we hope you’ll agree that this is a wonderful alternative conference line up and we’re delighted to be able to offer our members this free of charge (if you are not yet a member, you can join today for free).

    * Entry into the prize draw is available globally but the discount on the Bundy & Lane book is only available for countries outside North and South America due to distribution rights.

  • 11 Nov 2020 14:55 | SIE News (Administrator)

    We’re so excited to tell you about our Christmas special offer but the first thing you need to know is that it EXPIRES ON MIDNIGHT FRIDAY 11 DECEMBER 2020.

    Looking ahead to 2021, would you like to start the year with a positive plan of action to upskill and invigorate your career and enhance your care delivery to clients?

    If you would like to begin training on a UK-university-accredited postgraduate course that delivers internationally recognised qualifications (PGCert, PGDip) and the ability to practise as a Sensory Integration Practitioner or Advanced Practitioner, then take advantage of our Christmas special offer:

    Book onto the SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience starting 11 January 2021 and receive a FREE Masterclass Series lecture and FREE Therapist Membership to SIE for one year (value £40). This is also your very last chance to book onto this module at 2020 prices, saving you £150. Find out more about this online module here.

    Confident that you want to commit to adding sensory integration therapy to your knowledge and skill set when treating clients? Then these special offers are for you:

    Book onto the Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Integration (successful completion conveys SI Practitioner status) starting on 11 January 2021 and and receive THREE FREE Masterclass Series lectures and FREE Therapist Membership to SIE for one year (value £40). Find out more about the PGCert in SI course here.

    Book onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Sensory Integration (successful completion conveys Advanced Practitioner status) starting on 11 January 2021 and receive THREE FREE Masterclass Series lectures and FREE Therapist Membership to SIE for one year (value £40). Find out more about the PGDip in SI course here.

    All these courses are accredited by Sheffield Hallam University - UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality 2020.

    The Masterclass Series is a new suite of online lectures aimed at people looking to advance their understanding of sensory integration related subjects, delivered by international experts. Each Masterclass is hosted by a highly-experienced professional in that specialist subject, offering you insights and drawing on their deep, practical knowledge of that field. The Masterclass Series is your shortcut to high-quality, easily accessible and affordable continuing professional development hours.

    Book now so you can relax over the holiday period knowing that you are going to start 2021 with your career development plans already in place.

    All these offers EXPIRE ON MIDNIGHT FRIDAY 11 DECEMBER 2020.

  • 09 Nov 2020 09:04 | SIE News (Administrator)

    The Masterclass Series is a new suite of online lectures aimed at people looking to advance their understanding of sensory integration related subjects, delivered by international experts.

    Each Masterclass is hosted by a highly-experienced professional in that specialist subject, offering you insights and drawing on their deep, practical knowledge of that field. The Masterclass Series is your shortcut to high-quality, easily accessible and affordable continuing professional development hours.

    The first three Masterclasses are:

    How to use the SPD Nosology: Clinical Understanding and Application by Dr. Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR/L – Director of Research, STAR Institute

    Dr. Schoen is an occupational therapist with 30 years of clinical experience and a doctorate in occupational therapy from New York University (2001). She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry, working with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller.

    During her fellowship she was awarded the Developmental Psychology Endowment Grant from the William T Grant foundation to study the Sensory Processing Scales, which she is co-developing and researching with Dr. Miller. Dr Schoen is currently an Associate Professor at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and has served on multiple doctoral committees.

    She also co-developed and teaches the monthly Advanced Mentorship training at the SPD Foundation. She is certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment and has advanced training in Sensory Integration Therapy, Therapeutic Listening, and assistive technology. Dr. Schoen received the Recognition of Achievement Award from the American Occupational Therapy Association in 1997 and the Virginia Scardina Award of Excellence from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation in 2011.

    Live 2-hour, online lecture on 20 January 2021, 4pm to 6pm UK time: only £25. Find out more and how to book here.

    Sensory Integration/Processing and Sense of Self by Virginia Spielmann, MSOT – Executive Director, STAR Institute

    Virginia is a well-travelled speaker, coach and educator on topics including sensory integration, DIR/Floortime, child development and infant mental health. She has conducted training in Kenya, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the USA and leads workshops at international conferences.

    Virginia is a founder and former Clinical Director of SPOT (Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy) Interdisciplinary Children's Therapy Center in Hong Kong, where she led a large and widely respected interdisciplinary team.

    Virginia obtained her BSc in Occupational Therapy in Oxford England (2002) and her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary University, Milwaukee (2018). She is a DIR/Floortime Training Leader and Expert and clinical consultant for the Interdisciplinary Council for Development and Learning (ICDL). Her extensive pediatric experience includes children on the autism spectrum, as well as those with Sensory Processing Disorder, infant mental health issues, children from adopted families and those who have experienced developmental trauma.

    Virginia has considerable post-graduate training, she is certified on the SIPT and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Infant and Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on mental health, with Fielding Graduate University, in Santa Barbara.

    Live 2-hour, online lecture on 17 February 2021, 4 pm to 6 pm UK time: only £25. Find out more and how to book here.

    Is it ADHD, SPD, or Both? by Mim Ochsenbein, MSW, OTR/L – Director of Education, STAR Institute

    Mim Ochsenbein has been a practicing pediatric occupational therapist for over 20 years. She received her BSc in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in 1996 and her MSW from the university of California-Los Angeles in 2012 with an emphasis in non-profit management. She has received advanced training in sensory integration (SIPT certification, SPD ProCert1, SPD ProCert2), listening therapy (Therapeutic Listening, iLs), feeding therapy (SOS), DIR and infant massage (CIMI).

    Her work in occupational therapy with children and youth has occurred in a variety of settings including early intervention, school based, clinic based, mental health and private practice. As a social worker she provided case management, program development, and program management. Mim has taught both graduate level and professional continuing education courses since 2013, and has been at the STAR Institute since 2017 at the invitation of Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, FAOTA, OTR.

    Live 2-hour, online lecture on 24 March 2021, 3pm to 5pm UK time: only £25. Find out more and how to book here.

    For those who cannot attend the live date, we are offering a video recording of the live lecture for the same price for a limited time after the event.

    We have some very exciting Masterclass hosts finalising their dates with us: watch our social media for announcements. 

    We hope you enjoy this new series!

  • 05 Nov 2020 11:38 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Many of the national holidays around the world incorporate fireworks. Here in the UK, tonight is Bonfire Night which usually sees a few days of large public and smaller private fireworks displays and bonfires. Even during COVID-19 restrictions, there are expected to be many private displays. But these bright, loud, smoky displays can be overwhelmingly noisy and unpredictable for people with sensory integration and sensory processing difficulties - particularly for children who may not be prepared for the event. We’ve collated some tips and alternatives that you can try to better manage such celebrations.

    Be Prepared

    Ahead of time, explain to your child what happens during fireworks and bonfire displays. There are lots of free, downloadable social stories on the internet: this one, although specific to July 4th celebrations, is very good.

    Younger children might enjoy looking at picture books about fireworks, such as Daniel Tiger’s First Fireworks.

    Ensure your child understands the safety rules around fireworks displays, including not getting close to the fire or where the fireworks are lit and not picking up used fireworks or sparklers from the ground.

    In the days leading up to the event, do lots of physical activities with your child particularly physical exercise that involves resistance activities. Here are some suggestions for heavy work activities

    During the Fireworks

    Plan where to watch the fireworks from, especially if you think your child will be distressed by the loud bangs and screeching noises. This could be from a window inside your home, from a distant vantage point or from the security of the car. All these ideas will help to muffle the sound of the fireworks.

    If your child finds deep pressure touch regulating, they may find it comforting to wear a layer of tight clothes next to the skin; for example, a tight thermal vest, exercise leggings or compression stockings. They may find it calming to carry a weighted backpack too.

    Take a sensory kit packed with favourite, comforting fidgets and sensory toys, a special blanket and drinks and snacks - these will help to reduce the focus on the noise of the fireworks.

    If your child can tolerate ear defenders, wearing these (or ear muffs, ear plugs or headphones if you don’t have ear defenders) will help to dull the sounds of the event.

    Be prepared to leave. If your child becomes overwhelmed, be prepared (and prepare the rest of your family) to calmly leave the situation.

    Recognise that a lot of sensory stimulation will be very tiring to your child: be patient if they struggle with their bedtime routine during fireworks season.

    Alternatives to Fireworks

    You may decide to avoid fireworks all together if your child simply finds them distressing. Make a plan for what you are going to do instead, particularly if there are likely to be local private displays near your home; for example, you could close the curtains and play music or have the tv on.

    Search for a televised fireworks display: you can even watch it with the sound off!

    Apps that allow your child to create and set off animated fireworks are fun and controlled ways to enjoy the evening celebrations, such as this free one iLoveFireworksLite

    You can replicate some of the sensory experiences associated with fireworks at home using glitter sticks , such as these or by making your own sparkly sensory bottles (tutorial here).

    Messy play firework activities are a good way to support tactile sensitivities. This tutorial explains how to make paintbrushes from spaghetti which can them be used to paint firework pictures.

    We like this sensory play activity because it can be linked to a fire safety theme: create a bonfire out of shaving foam and coloured powder and then ask your child to extinguish it with a spray bottle of water. 

    Make a colourful, kinetic display by combining milk, food colouring and soap: tutorial here

    Create colourful, fizzing fireworks with only kitchen cupboard ingredients: tutorial here.

    This activity is fun, self-regulating and uses oral motor skills: squeeze blobs of paint onto a large piece of paper and ask your child to use a straw to blow the paint around the paper creating fireworks from the paint.

  • 29 Oct 2020 21:35 | SIE News (Administrator)

    Learn the sensory analysis benefits of working in the water and how to employ both the principles of sensory integration therapy and sensory attachment therapy within a pool setting during this new live, online workshop: Aquatic Sensory Integration.

    Taught by experienced occupational therapist and accredited Advanced SI Practitioner, Emma Jerman, this exciting new course for therapists is on 7 December 2020.

    The live, interactive presentation will include what happens in an aquatic SI session, videos of games to play in the water and ideas for clients to try themselves.

    What is aquatic sensory integration?

    Aquatic SI uses the principles of sensory integration but in the environment of water. The pool offers extra sensory properties that may not be replicable on land, with the water offering 30 times more pressure than air and providing a unique full-body pressure experience that many clients find calming and organising. Moving around in the water also creates controlled vestibular stimulation and provides opportunities for working on enhanced proprioceptive and tactile feedback.

    Research continues to support the concept that water is an ideal medium in which to rehabilitate the body, as well as develop oral motor and breathing control. Aquatic SI therapy focuses on therapeutic, play-based functional activities in water that can help with many areas of difficulties associated with sensory integration or processing.

    What is aquatic sensory attachment therapy?

    With children who have experienced trauma, have been adopted or are looked after children, Emma uses sensory attachment therapy in the pool environment. In sensory attachment therapy she employs the principles of sensory integration and attachment but encourages the parent to be the lead therapist to strengthen the parent/carer-child bond and co-regulation. It works really well because the child needs the support of the parent in the water. Being in the water helps the child to build up trust with the parent as they aid them in this fun, sensory-rich activity.

    Does a child need to know how to swim to benefit from aquatic SI?

    No, aquatic SI is very accessible. It can work in the shallow part of the pool and build water confidence in a safe, supportive environment.

    Format of the course

    This is a live, interactive, online training day presented over Zoom. Starting at 9.30 am UK time and finishing at 3.00pm UK time on Monday 7 December 2020. It comprises three x 1.5 hour sessions with a 30 minute break between each session. This exciting training day is only £45.

    About your presenter

    Emma Jerman is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, trained in aquatic sensory integration. Emma is an accredited Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner and has an MSc in Advanced OT. She has additional swimming teacher and Halliwick Aquatic Therapy Training qualifications and works with children with a range of disabilities, as well as adopted children with their new parents and carers.

    This workshop is sure to sell out fast: book your place now.

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