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What is Praxis, and why is it important?

“Praxis is … the ability by which we figure out how to use our hands and body in skilled tasks like playing with toys; using tools, including a pencil or fork; building a structure, whether a toy block-tower or a house; straightening up a room, or engaging in many occupations.”
A Jean Ayres 1985

To have adequate praxis, we must detect and register sensory input from within our bodies and from the world around us. Then we integrate this incoming sensory information, to make sense of what is happening. We interpret these sensations using our past experiences and learning. This means we are able to move about easily, doing and trying new things. When this happens well, we can interact with the world and with the people around us.Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 15.37.10

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Shoelaces get easier to tie

These great shoelaces, available from the chain Schuh mean that young people who struggle to tie their laces will be able to be more independent and quicker at changing for PE.

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Play in the Park

Going to the park or the beach can provide weekend and holiday opportunities for getting the right amount of heavy muscle work to help young people be in a ‘just right’ space.

Any activity where there is pushing, pulling, stretching, rolling, hanging, jumping – anything that stretches muscles and gets the proprioceptors going.

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ESIC 2017 Workshop : Ayres’ Sensory Integration beyond Childhood.


Kath Smith and Ros Urwin, Directors at Sensory Project, presented this workshop at ESIC 2017.

Ayres’ Sensory Integration (ASI) is increasingly being used with older adolescents(16+), adult and older adult clients. However adult specific research about the effectiveness of Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy (ASIT) with this age group is limited. Single-subject experimental designs (SSEDs) may provide clinicians working with small and varied case loads with a means to demonstrate if ASI is effective in improving participation in everyday life. Meta-analysis of SSEDs is recognized as a possible means to support the development and implementation of evidence-based practice.

Our workshop described the application of ASI with adults, describing acceptable, age appropriate assessment and intervention approaches and treatment spaces that meet Ayres’ SI Fidelity. Through the use of case study, the workshop explored assessment and intervention methods and outcome measurement tools currently used with adult clients receiving ASIT.

The use of the Quality of Life Inventory, tools from the Model of Human Occupation, Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) and personal narrative were used to demonstrate neuropsychological (cognitive, memory, attention) and functional changes (eg, occupational, social, quality of life, and adaptive functioning) following ASIT. These measures identified key factors underpinning improved participation in everyday life.

Our facilitated workshop generated recommendations for a baseline minimum data set to be used for SSEDs of ASIT with adult clients, including consensus about relevant but sensitive outcome measurement tools for the adult population.

Poster ESIC 2017

Reference List

1. May Benson T, (2009). Occupational Therapy for Adults with Sensory Processing Disorders. OT PRACTICE; JUNE 15, 2009

2. Parham, L. Roley, S. May-Benson, T. Koomar, J. Brett-Green, B. Burke, J. Cohn, E. Mailloux

, Z. Miller, L. (2011) Developmental of a Fidelity Measure on The Effectiveness of the Ayres Sensory Integration® Intervention. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 133-142

3. Shankar, R., Smith, K., and Jalihal, V. (2013). Sensory Processing in people with Asperger Syndrome. Learning Disability Practice, 16, (2), 22-27.

4. Shoener RF, Kinnealey M, Koenig KP.(2008) You can know me now if you listen: sensory, motor, and communication issues in a nonverbal person with autism. Am J Occup Ther. 2008 Sep-Oct;62(5):547-53.

5. Smith, J. D. (2012). Single-Case Experimental Designs: A Systematic Review of Published Research and Current Standards. Psychological Methods, 17(4), 10

6. Schaaf R, Mailloux Z. (2015) ‘Clinician’s Guide to Implementing Ayres Sensory Integration®: Promoting Participation for Children With Autism’ AOTA Press, Bethesda, MD.

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Why Sensory Integration therapy might work?

Five Ways To Grow New Brain Cells – The Best Brain Possible