Not only is making moon sand cheaper, it is an activity in itself…whether you make it before or in the clinic session, lots of fun can be had getting the ingredients together and mixing them up…then playing with what you have created…
If you have great videos and ideas send them to us via our email and we will feature them here. You can send us video or photo’s too, but these will need to be accompanied by a completed video/photo consent form. Email us for the link.
We had a great weekend thinking about how to support people with sensory integration difficulties . We talked about how we are all sensory beings, and how sensory preferences shape who we are, our hobbies and our careers…this article explores sensory processing and how this can impact attachment, coping and relationships.
Learning about the senses is critical to how we practice as sensory integration therapists – here is a great video to help remind us not just about why touch is vital to early development, but also, as Harlow showed us, why it is critical for survival.
The application of Ayres’ Sensory Integration beyond Childhood is something our Director’s Kath and Ros have pioneered and that we specialise in at Sensory Project, mentoring therapists working across the lifespan and at ASI-WISE, through our workshops and courses, including lecturing abroad.
We are delighted to see the publication of this study (not ours!), and a possible new assessment tools for use with older adults. We will be exploring the use of this tool with clients in the UK and Ireland and hopefully be including our experiences of using it in our workshops; How to use and apply Sensory Integration to improve the health and well-being of older adults.
The abstract to this article was published in Journal of Neurophysiology on 10 January 2018 by authors Mitchel A Magrini, Ryan M. Thiele, Ryan J Colquhoun, Alejandra Barrera Curiel, Taryn S Blackstock and Jason M DeFreitas.
Abstract: There is need for a functional ability test that appropriately assesses the rapid integration of the sensory and motor systems required for older adults to recover from a slip. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and reliability of a novel test, the reactive leg drop, for assessing sensory-motor function in older adults. Fourteen young (YW; mean age = 20yrs) and 11 older women (OW; mean age = 76yrs) participated in this study. For each drop, the leg was passively moved to full extension and then released. The subjects had to recognize their leg was free-falling and reactively kick up as quickly as possible during varying sensory conditions. To assess the leg drop’s reliance on proprioception, other proprioceptive tests (e.g. patellar tendon reflexes and balance) were separately performed. Leg drops performed with the eyes closed (p=0.011) and with a blocked view of their leg (p=0.033) showed significant differences in drop angle between the YW and OW. Significant relationships between leg drop conditions and balance were observed in the OW that were not present within YW. When collapsed across groups, reflex latency was correlated with drop angle when the eyes were closed. The reactive leg drop was age sensitive, reliable, and likely reliant on proprioception, as shown by relationships to other sensory-motor assessments, such as balance and the patellar reflex. Although more research is needed, we propose that the reactive leg drop is an effective tool to assess sensory-motor integration in a manner that may mimic fall recovery.
Learn more about this remarkable lady and how she created her famous “squeeze machine’ to get deep pressure touch. Nowadays in therapy spaces and schools, the Steam Roller (or Mangle as it is often affectionately known) is a much used and loved piece of therapy equipment.
The study Sensory Processing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Home and Classroom Contexts was undertaken in Spain. It explored the use of the SPM asking if it could identify sensory processing deficits and patterns on both the home and school forms. A useful study for therapists working in schools, where assessment may be limited to the use of reporting by others. The study includes helpful summaries of some of the literature supporting the use of Ayres’ SI with children with ASD and ADHD.
Sanz-Cervera P, Pastor-Cerezuela G, González-Sala F, Tárraga-Mínguez R, Fernández-Andrés M-I. Sensory Processing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Home and Classroom Contexts Frontiers in Psychology. 2017;8:1772. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01772.
Abstract: Children with neurodevelopmental disorders often show impairments in sensory processing (SP) and higher functions. The main objective of this study was to compare SP, praxis and social participation (SOC) in four groups of children: ASD Group (n = 21), ADHD Group (n = 21), ASD+ADHD Group (n = 21), and Comparison Group (n = 27). Participants were the parents and teachers of these children who were 5–8 years old (M = 6.32). They completed the Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) to evaluate the sensory profile, praxis and SOC of the children in both the home and classroom contexts. In the home context, the most affected was the ASD+ADHD group. The ADHD group obtained higher scores than the ASD group on the Body Awareness (BOD) subscale, indicating a higher level of dysfunction. The ASD group, however, did not obtain higher scores than the ADHD group on any subscale. In the classroom context, the most affected were the two ASD groups: the ASD+ADHD group obtained higher scores than the ADHD group on the Hearing (HEA) and Social Participation (SOC) subscales, and the ASD group obtained higher scores than the ADHD group on the SOC subscale. Regarding sensory modalities, difficulties in proprioception seem to be more characteristic to the ADHD condition. As for higher-level functioning, social difficulties seem to be more characteristic to the ASD condition. Differences between the two contexts were only found in the ASD group, which could be related to contextual hyperselectivity, an inherent autistic feature. Despite possible individual differences, specific intervention programs should be developed to improve the sensory challenges faced by children with different diagnoses.
Congratulations to Allison Hunt, Morganne Peterson and Emily White on the publication of their Master’s thesis. They have created a very readable and interesting summary of literature about all about sensory diets – including a brief history and a review of current practice in California. It was great to see the data relates to therapists working in many clinical settings and also across the lifespan.
The purpose of this study was to examine the use of sensory diets in the field of occupational therapy. This study investigated the use of sensory diets among California occupational therapy practitioners. A mixed-methods design was used to collect data through an online survey. The survey was sent out to members of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) and received 98 respondents within one month. Participants worked among various clinical settings and implemented sensory diets with various client populations. Practitioners reported using terms such as “sensory strategies,” “sensory tools,” and “sensory supports” which indicates an overall misunderstanding associated with the term “sensory diet.” An alternative name that is more easily understandable and used universally would help decrease confusion among clinicians and clients. Further research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of sensory diets and how they are implemented.