Yesterday, to a conference in Ireland Kath Smith presented about the journey she started in 1998 when she first treated her first adult in the UK using ASI. The presentation was built on an original one presented at an RCOT Conference in 2003. This journey has been awesome – it is where she met her now colleague and fellow Director of ASI Wise Ros Urwin and was encouraged and mentored by world leaders in ASI, themselves taught by A Jean Ayres. It is more than 20 years since both Ros and Kath started to build on the early research and evidence base publishing their own research, developing tools and resources to support first their own and then the practice of others. They have taught therapists and nursing staff in the UK and across the globe how to work with adults with mental health difficulties with sensory integration challenges. Learn about the application in ASI on our modular programme – ASI Wise CLASI Certification in ASI and our 2-day workshop which explores the application of ASI across the lifespan.
Join us to discuss your local audit and research projects about Ayres’ Sensory Integration. We are creating a community of practice in the UK and Ireland to support those interested in gathering research and data to add to the growing evidence base about Ayres’ Sensory Integration.
Listen to what world leaders in ASI have to say about their paths to research and publication.
This invitation is also open to therapy, psychology and education students etc, anyone interested in promoting Ayres’ Sensory Integration and related approaches and practice. This may include completing literature reviews, research design projects and pilot studies.
Thank you to the families who gave consent and our secret blogger OT for this contribution.
“A little while ago, two mums approached me and both asked about assessments for their children. Both were young adults, academically highly able and struggling with their self-organisation and motor skills.
Both young people consented to an assessment and completed, through self-report, the Adult/ Adolescent Sensory History (AASH) questionnaire. They were also assessed with the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT). The SIPT is a standardised assessment with normative data for ages 4 through 8 years, 11 months. On this particular assessment tool, sensory integration and processing skills scores plateau at around this age, though the test is still informative for people beyond this age, who should have achieved.
The young lady assessed has a diagnosis of social anxiety and has low confidence, while the young man is quite a confident character. She has a history of bumps, trips and spills, and will tell anecdotes of these with great humour; while he prefers to focus on what he does well in conversation.
I love the AASH, the reports it gives highlight each sensory system, differentiate between discrimination and modulation difficulties and addresses motor planning, sequencing and social/ emotional aspects of sensory integration and processing needs.
It uses clear, non-patronising language and activities appropriate to adults and adolescents. It shows up really clearly a person’s (or their caregiver’s as necessary) perception of their sensory integration and processing needs and how these affect their day to day life. In this instance, the young lady highlighted many sensory processing needs.
The young man reported almost no difficulties, his only score in the primary sensory systems section was mild proprioceptive difficulties. When questioned as to the accuracy of his answers, he tended to reply “well, nobody likes that, do they?”
Having scored the AASH checklists, I completed a SIPT with each person. The SIPT is a battery of 17 tests which assess a person’s sensory integration and processing including perceptual-motor skills through tasks with standardised administration and normative data against which to compare an individuals test results. Guess which person showed more significant difficulties in the direct assessment?
On the SIPT assessment scores between -1 and +1 standard deviation are considered typical, above +1 are strengths and scores below -1 are of clinical significance and require support and will benefit from direct intervention.
The exception to this being Post Rotatory Nystagmus in which a low (below -1) or high score (above +1) indicates significant difficulty inhibiting response to vestibular information and often relates to a low Standing and Walking Balance score.
Here are the young lady’s SIPT results:
Definite movement, balance and body awareness difficulties but also some areas of significant strength, particularly around her visual skills and imitation, which she uses to compensate for her body awareness difficulties.
Here’s the young man’s chart:
Strong visual skills, compensating for significant challenges in the other areas.
This experience taught me so much. From the AASH scores, I was expecting the young lady to have much more problems in the SIPT than the young man, their conversation about their lifestyles confirmed this expectation. Still, then the assessment showed so clearly how much of that was related to confidence.
An evaluation based solely on checklists is not enough. It tells you what a person perceives to be their difficulties, guides the direction of evaluation and adds experiential evidence to the overall assessment.
A good questionnaire is evidence-based and norm-referenced, but it always needs to be triangulated with direct observation and where possible structured and standardised assessment. These tools can tell you so much about the respondent’s confidence and resilience and what they find easy or difficult in day to day life. But I have learned it is a mistake to rely upon one alone when assessing somebody’s sensory integration and processing skills and needs”.
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We are presenting more live ‘Sensory Ladders supporting Self Regulation’ Webinar this week, to meet the current demand and requests.
This webinar for teachers and therapists is also open to health care professionals supporting clients to recover or maintain their mental health and wellbeing, especially during C-19.
The webinar will include an introduction to the theory behind these intensely individualised and personalised tools. Sensory Ladders support the development of our client’s/carer’s awareness of self-states. Sensory ladders promote the use of sensory strategies to manage fear and anxiety, promoting increased engagement and successful participation in everyday life.
This unique combination of theory and neuroscience, developed in 2001 is grounded in the philosophies of Ayres’ Sensory Integration and psychological theories including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
Join us discover how this tool supports ways to engage with clients; children, teens, adults and their carers via telehealth.
Teachers and Therapists – learn how to make interactive Sensory Ladders for Self Regulation online with Powerpoint – personalised with photo’s music and more. Explore ways to deliver this therapeutic intervention for sensory people stuck at home.
Building on our first webinar about using the technology – join us to discover more about an application in practice.
If you are thinking of attending these sessions we recommend you visit www.sensoryproject.org/technology [password Tech123] and you listen to the very first complimentary webinar we did on Telehealth technology.
21 April 2020 – Evening Webinar – 7.40pm (BST)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
See more about Sensory Ladders here.