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Sensory Overload, Poor Habituation and A Brain that is Constantly Surprised

This article by science mag uses the analogy of predictive coding to explore how a mismatch between what the brain predicts might happen with what actually happens can cause the brain to be in a constant state of surprise. It attempts to explain some of the core features of Autism, Sensory Integration differences, poor habituation, focus on detail rather than the big picture and difficulties with social interaction…

“In Ayaya’s telling, her autism involves a host of perceptual disconnects. For example, she feels in exquisite detail all the sensations that typical people readily identify as hunger, but she can’t piece them together. “It’s very hard for me to conclude I’m hungry,” she says. “I feel irritated, or I feel sad, or I feel something [is] wrong. This information is separated, not connected.” It takes her so long to realize she is hungry that she often feels faint and gets something to eat only after someone suggests it to her.”  Read more here…

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Walking into the New Year

As we start the new year, with lots of hopes for a fresh start, often its the smallest most simple and achievable changes that work best. 

Amy Fleming talks to neuroscientist Shane O’Mara who believes that plenty of regular walking unlocks the cognitive powers of the brain like nothing else. He explains why you should exchange your gym kit for a pair of comfy shoes and get strolling

“Our sensory systems work at their best when they’re moving about the world,” says O’Mara. Read more here 

active dog walking enjoyment fun

 

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ICEASI Education Standards Approved.

We spent today answering questions today online, via text and What’s App – all asking the same questions about Certification in Ayres’ SI, and what programmes are recommended. 

Hoping this impartial recently published document developed after much consultation and with consensus from many organisations teaching ASI is helpful.

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Coming soon the ICEASI website

Read more here:

ICEASI

ICEASI feedback

 

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Why the vestibular system is essential to participation in occupation.

Our vestibular system is amazing. So many people don’t even know what they do until it isn’t working – like when someone has vertigo and even getting out of bed becomes impossible.

I had no idea how important it was or how much it influenced everyday life.

A tiny organ located in the inner ear, near the cochlea (the hearing organ), the vestibular system tells us about how our head is moving through space, it can detect movement in any plane and can distinguish between acceleration, deceleration rotational and linear movement.

On top of all of this, the vestibular system detects gravity. It tells us which way is up and which is down. The information from the vestibular system is used by the brain to inform all kinds of things, from maintaining balance and posture to stabilising our visual field.

This means that we can stand or sit up straight, know when we are moving and that objects in the distance appear to stay still, even if we are driving, moving or jumping about.

 

A great explanation of the vestibular system and how it works to help.

Read more here at OT toolbox

Check out this amazing video made by Astronaut Tim Peake during his time on the international space station, where he experiments with how the vestibular system is affected when in microgravity.

Tim’s brain has adapted to his environment so that the messages from his vestibular system no longer make him feel dizzy or sick.

Read more here:

Trigeminal, Visceral and Vestibular Inputs May Improve Cognitive Functions by Acting through the Locus Coeruleus and the Ascending Reticular Activating System: A New Hypothesis.

 

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What is Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy?

At ASI Wise, to avoid confusion, we use the term sensory integration and processing difficulties. Different terms are used in different places to describe sensory integration difficulties. Some therapists may use sensory processing difficulties instead. Some may even use sensory processing disorder.

We currently have a robust test,  the SIPT, that allows us to describe sensory integration difficulties and reference research evidence to interpret the unique scores and pattern of scores that the child gets across 17 test items. We can use this data to inform our clinical reasoning, create a hypothesis about what sensory difficulties are contributing to participation challenges in everyday life. We set goals, plan and deliver the intervention, Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy measuring therapy outcomes. This is best practice.

“Active, individually tailored, sensory motor activities contextualised in play at the just right challenge, that targets adaptive responses for participation in activities and tasks.”

ESIC Schaaf 2019

Core to the practice of Ayres’ Sensory Integration is a central belief in the ‘adaptive response’.

“Ayres (1972b) described the adaptive response as central to praxis intervention. Adaptive responses are purposeful actions directed toward a goal that is successfully achieved, and the production of adaptive responses is thought to be inherently organizing for the brain. Ayres (1972b, 1985) further emphasized that SI intervention was a transaction among client, task, and environment.”

Bundy, A. and Lane, S. [2019], Sensory Integration Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition, [Philadelphia]. Available from: FADavis.

Ayres’ Sensory Integration assessment and therapy is typically post-graduate education for Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists. Please check that your therapist has ASI Education that meets level 2 education standards as recommended by ICEASI.

For more information about programmes offering Certification in Ayres’ Sensory Integration across the globe, please visit www.cl-asi.org.

 

Thank you Saša Radić – Kabinet aRTisINCLudum aRTis INCLudum for sharing these.

Read “Occupational Therapy Interventions for Children and Youth With Challenges in Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing: A School-Based Practice Case Example”  – one young person’s story from AJOT May 2019 here. [Frolek Clark et al 2019].