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Research Update: Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: Linking Motor and Process Skills, Sensory Patterns, and Psychiatric Symptoms

Halperin and Falk-Kessler presented this in 2018 at local OT Conferences, at AOTA’s National Conference in 2019 and now in 2020 this journal article.


Background: Consistent evidence suggests sensory abnormalities and skill deficits in people with
Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder (SSD). Further exploration of their sensory patterns and performance skills is warranted to promote community participation among these individuals.
Method: This study examined sensory patterns and motor and process skills in relationship to psychiatric symptoms in adult patients with SSD. Participants were evaluated using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills, and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale.

Results: Of the 18 participants, the majority showed sensory differences, deficits in motor and process skills, and the presence of moderate to severe symptoms. There were significant relationships between sensory differences, skill deficits, and psychiatric symptoms. These findings are preliminary because of a small sample.
Conclusion: Sensory patterns and performance skills of individuals with SSD should be routinely evaluated to address their impact on function. Future research regarding this topic requires larger samples.

Read more here

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Sensory Integration, praxis and speech and language difficulties.

Language and communication difficulties commonly co-occur in children and adults with movement and coordination difficulties.

Speech is not just about understanding and using language it’s also about timing, sequencing and movement of mouth and body muscles. Body language can make up 90% or more of how we communicate.

You need to be able to have adequate praxis to know what you wanted to say, plan it and execute – the same praxis skills required for playing, walking, doing a sport or managing skills for daily life like dressing and eating.

Read more about Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Read more here about speech delays and CAS

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ASI 2020 Vision

Dr Zoe Mailloux has spearheaded the ASI 2020 Vision alongside Dr Susanne Smith Roley, Dr Roseann Schaaf and Dr Diane Parham, creating a global initiative to do 3 things:

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  1. Gather a collection of 100 peer-reviewed papers to evidence Ayres’ Sensory Integration by 2020
  2. Develop a new assessment tool; accessible and affordable across the globe.
  3. Set standards for education in Ayres’ Sensory Integration so that people receiving services from a therapist using Ayres’ Sensory Integration have access to trained therapists with solid knowledge, ground in contemporary research and skills to practice.


More about the EASI

Screen Shot 2020-01-25 at 17.27.41Goal 2 – the new assessment tool, the EASI, is being developed as a collaborative global initiative.

It is anticipated that it will help to highlight sensory and motor difficulties that may have underlying neurobiological origins in children across the globe.

Once the development and testing work for this new tool is completed, it is anticipated the EASI will provide therapists across the world with a cost effective way gather data to consider and plan the way to accurately target and address these challenges through Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy.

This therapy uses her original ideas and methods, which are now being able to be grounded and increasingly evidenced based by modern current more robust research methods; resulting in an  ever growing evidence base.

To read more about the EASI in the UK and Ireland, and how our ASI Wise team are helping support the collection of the normative data for the UK and Ireland please visit

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Multisensory Integration and the Society for Neuroscience: Then and Now

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Abstract “The operation of our multiple and distinct sensory systems has long captured the interest of researchers from multiple disciplines. When the Society was founded 50 years ago to bring neuroscience research under a common banner, sensory research was largely divided along modality specific lines. At the time, there were only a few physiological and anatomical observations of the multisensory interactions that powerfully influence our everyday perception. Since then,the neuroscientific study of multisensory integration has increased exponentially in both volume and diversity. From initial studies identifying the overlapping receptive fields of multisensory neurons,to subsequent studies of the spatial and temporal principles that govern the integration of multiple sensory cues, our understanding of this phenomenon at the single-neuron level has expanded to include a variety of dimensions. We now can appreciate how multisensory integration can alter patterns of neural activity intime, and even coordinate activity among populations of neurons across different brain areas. There is now a growing battery of sophisticated empirical and computational techniques that are being used to study this process in a number of models. These advancements have not only enhanced our understanding of this remarkable process in the normal adult brain, but also its underlying circuitry, requirements for development, susceptibility to malfunction, and how its principles may be used to mitigate malfunction.”

Barry E. SteinTerrence R. Stanford and Benjamin A. Rowland

Read more here

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The Importance of Sensory Processing in Mental Health: A Proposed Addition to the Research Domain Criteria…

Great to see another article published that focuses us on the importance of understanding more about the links between sensory integration to mental health and wellbeing.

Read more here: