So what are structured clincial observations? What do they mean?
In the practice of Ayres’ Sensory Integration, structured clinical neurological observations form part of the comprehensive assessment needed to understand the sensory systems and how challenges to sensory registration, sensory processing and sensory integration contribute to difficulties participating in activities of daily life.
In 1972, Ayres, who had worked with adults with traumatic brain injury, described her adaptation of adult neurological observations for the testing of children in her book Sensory Integration and Learning Disorders.
During assessment for sensory integration difficulties, a therapist will use clinical reasoning to start to hypothesise which sensory systems may be contributing to a person’s presentation and current difficulties in participation in everyday life. You can watch a therapist do a version of these tests here. Depending on what a therapist is seeing as they assess, they will choose which are the right ones to do next and in what order.
The ASI WISE team are out and about in Northamptonshire, sharing knowledge and skills about Ayres Sensory Integration with the mental health teams from Berrywood Hospital, part of Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The ASI Wise lecture team have been at Abbot’s Lea School in Liverpool this weekend with a fantastic group of committed and enthusiastic occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and teachers exploring the use of sensory strategies and Ayres’ Sensory Integration therapy to support children, young people and adults mental and wellbeing health.
Experiential learning opportunities, embedded into the course, help participants to understand their own sensory systems and to experience the challenges that the people they are working with face on a daily basis.
With a mixture of classroom-based and hands-on practical learning, participants explored how to use the spaces and environment available in both school and clinic to support regulation and praxis. The workshop provided an opportunity to hear about the theory and practice of Ayres’ Sensory Integration, it’s application supporting those with autism, ADHD and dyspraxia, with up to date research and evidence supporting practice.
To find out more about our courses and learning here
We are so grateful to Abbot’s Lea School who have allowed us to use such a beautiful spacious venue. The three lovely well-lit rooms allowed us to create a pop-up sensory clinic, where participants had space to move about; extra room to break into groups supporting learning and the sharing of ideas. The school staff and local therapist volunteer support team have been incredibly welcoming and supportive, helping the workshop to run smoothly. As a bonus, the sun has shone all weekend which has allowed us to use the outdoor spaces, we have spotted a few daffodils and blossom trees around the city – it feels like spring is on its way.
Thank you to our volunteer therapists who helped to make the weekend such a success.