In this 2022 article; “Muting, filtering and transforming space: Autistic children’s sensory ‘tactics’ for navigating mainstream school space following the transition to secondary school.”, the take-home messages are:
There are sensory challenges in mainstream school environments for ASD children.
Working with young people post-transition to secondary school has highlighted these challenges.
Sensory challenges exist across the school environment: Classrooms, lunch halls, playgrounds and even corridors can feel overwhelming.
Muting, filtering and transforming space ‘tactics’ are ways that young people deal with feelings of sensory overload.
Teachers, parents and therapists can use this understanding of these sensory tactics to support the design of more inclusive school spaces.
We will be hosting a Q & A session tonight. Come and join us to hear about Sensooli and Chewigem products. We will be joined tonight on the call by Jenny McLaughlan and Loz Young, who will be telling us more about Chewigem and their new initiative Sensooli . They are keen to hear therapist feedback about their products and how this relates to our practice;including what we might like to know more about. For more information please see https://chewigem.com/and their new spacehttps://sensooli.com/.
Please post any questions before the session to the ASI in Practice Telegram Group or email through to email@example.com.
This is an open evening session, so please also do bring any others questions or chat about anything related to ASI.
When supporting other therapists to interpret their clinical data, I find a common theme tricky patterns emerging while trying to make sense of assessment data. It is always helpful to remember to explore and reference the latest supporting evidence.
Dr Susanne Smith Roley reminded our Module 6 delegates of this just last night. She emphasised the importance of staying up to date and using evidence from the last 5 or so years to support our clinical reasoning, as the evidence base about ASI is rapidly expanding, mainly within our domain of practice, occupational therapy. There is also a raft of evidence in related fields like ENT, neurology, mental health, trauma and other related areas. We need to search widely. This reminder from Susanne was the perfect timing for a conversation this morning and my reflections on that conversation this morning.
In summary; we should all remember to link our clinical findings with the latest research and evidence. This means we should link our evidence searches to the clinical patterns we suspect may be emerging from our assessment data.
If it doesn’t make sense – keep looking and exploring. Go back and ask more questions. Clinical reasoning is about data from a range of sources pointing to and in sync with performance and participation challenges.
Data from standardised testing, questionnaires, narrative and interview and clinical observations provides a holistic and individualised view of your client’s strengths and challenges. Exploration and understanding of their interests will allow you to capitalise on what will motivate them in therapy; supporting engagement and creating the right conditions of neural plasticity needed for therapeutic change.
Emerging evidence suggests that children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present more difficulties in standing and walking balance than typically developing children.
“Our results motivate a paradigm shift to challenge how ASD, ADHD, and OCD are currently defined, diagnosed, and treated. In particular, this paper adds to the evidence that these diagnoses may not exist as uniquely-defined diagnostic constructs, and highlights the need to discover other groupings that may be more closely aligned with biology and/or response to treatment.”
So, this study by Kushki et al 2019 is by no means simple. However, the results support our clinical experience of the overlap and common features seen in practice. We see similar overlap is the assessment data we gather, particularly when we SIPT our clients with these diagnoses. The study uses state of the art technology and research methodologies, statistical calculations, and techniques I had never heard of. I had to look them up. However, the research appears to support what we see in clinical practice. I look forward to reading more by these researchers in Canada.
“…we used a data-driven, diagnosis-agnostic approach to examine overlap across three neurodevelopmental disorders (ASD, ADHD, and OCD)…we observed that differences in the domains primarily affected in these disorders may exist along a continuum that includes typical development.”
“The majority of the data-driven clusters contained participants from multiple diagnostic categories, highlighting shared phenotypes and neurobiologies among the diagnostic groups.”
“Social difficulties and inattention are commonly reported as shared features of ASD, ADHD, and OCD….our results support the emerging recognition that the existing behaviorally-defined diagnostic labels may not capture etiologically, biologically, and phenomenologically homogeneous groups.“
“…our results are consistent with the notion that that the ASD-like features, and to some extent inattention traits, exist across a continuum that includes typical development”
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