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Do you know about Temple Grandin and the squeeze machine?

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.

You can read all about the Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals.




The SPM may be helpful in informing intervention programs for children with ASD and ADHD.

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.

Sensory Processing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Home and Classroom Contexts

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.

The full article can be accessed online via this link:


Sensory Strategy Ideas

Following on from yesterday’s article about sensory strategies and sensory diets, this video provides us with some lovely ideas for outdoor heavy work ideas and other sensory strategies.

All About Sensory Diets

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.

Survey of Sensory Diet Use Among California Occupational Therapy

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The Abstract:

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.

The original document is available from Original Abstract Link

Sensory Overload and strategies that can help throughout the year.

Sensory overload or sensory hyper-reactivity is something that many people with sensory integration difficulties, sometimes also called sensory processing disorder, struggle with, often on a daily basis. These short clips, including 2 for the festive season, provide us with an opportunity to understand how it feels and learn more about what can make daily life easier to manage.

Sensory Overload at Christmas – listen to Jodie describe how early trauma created sensory sensitivity, and how sensory integration therapy including learning more about her own body and what can help has changed her life.

Coping with New Year Celebrations – Jodie describes how New Year can be a challenge.

When ‘Mum’ Seems Anxious

I’m Reblogging this post because it is an incredibly powerful description of exactly the experience that many parents including myself face when we try desperately to advocate for services and support for our children.

Unfortunately, it sets up a terrible cycle of disbelief and creates unnecessary stress for families and barriers to children receiving the support they need.

The sense of relief when one professional sees your situation and believes your truth is incredible, it opens doors, allows healing to begin and for a real team around the child and family to be built.

On our own journey, it was occupational therapists who were the first and often the only professionals to bring us this sense of belief and affirmation, and it is exactly this which attracted me to join the profession myself.

Sarah (Parent and Student OT)

It Must Be Mum

A guest blog by Helen and Jack’s Mum

‘I suspect the problem is her Mum who is really overanxious’. ‘I only spoke to Mum once but she seemed very over stressed’.

I knew what was being said about me in that meeting because my friend was sat there, not as my friend but in her role as a teacher from another school.  She told them she knew me socially and she had already asked me if it was OK to stay in the room while ‘We’ were being discussed by the meeting.  I had said it was OK for her to be there – she knew it all anyway and looking back now with hindsight, I’m so glad I had one person sat there believing what I said was true.  I also had one person who was brave enough to tell me what was truly said at the meeting.  At…

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