We need to consider the importance of maintaining tactile discrimination skills – adequate tactile perception is necessary for using tools in a skillful way for participation in lifelong hobbies like sewing, model making, cake icing and painting.
Last night we were delighted to receive a great fb update from our friend and colleague Tina Champagne. She has just received her advance copy of her book, which will be a great resource to inform and support healthcare professionals working with older adults with dementia, using a sensory integration frame of reference.
The SENSORY INTEGRATION INVENTORY REVISED FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES is available from Therapro.
Developed by Judith Reisman and Bonnie Hanschu, in 1992, but just as relevant today. This assessment tool was developed in collaboration with OT’s who worked with people with severe and profound learning disabilities, who could not cooperate fully in more formalised testing of their sensory integration.
The guidebook gives a rationale for the inclusion of each item in the Inventory, as an indicator of sensory integration difficulties. It also provides an alternative, sensory explanation for behaviors that challenge staff teams and carers, that are often presumed to be primarily learnt, behavioural or psychosocial in origin.
We recommend the User’s Guide as a learning tool for all novice sensory integration students as it provides down-to-earth examples that help explain many sensory integration concepts.
The application of Ayres’ Sensory Integration beyond Childhood is something our Director’s Kath and Ros have pioneered and that we specialise in at Sensory Project, mentoring therapists working across the lifespan and at ASI-WISE, through our workshops and courses, including lecturing abroad.
We are delighted to see the publication of this study (not ours!), and a possible new assessment tools for use with older adults. We will be exploring the use of this tool with clients in the UK and Ireland and hopefully be including our experiences of using it in our workshops; How to use and apply Sensory Integration to improve the health and well-being of older adults.
The abstract to this article was published in Journal of Neurophysiology on 10 January 2018 by authors Mitchel A Magrini, Ryan M. Thiele, Ryan J Colquhoun, Alejandra Barrera Curiel, Taryn S Blackstock and Jason M DeFreitas.
Abstract: There is need for a functional ability test that appropriately assesses the rapid integration of the sensory and motor systems required for older adults to recover from a slip. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and reliability of a novel test, the reactive leg drop, for assessing sensory-motor function in older adults. Fourteen young (YW; mean age = 20yrs) and 11 older women (OW; mean age = 76yrs) participated in this study. For each drop, the leg was passively moved to full extension and then released. The subjects had to recognize their leg was free-falling and reactively kick up as quickly as possible during varying sensory conditions. To assess the leg drop’s reliance on proprioception, other proprioceptive tests (e.g. patellar tendon reflexes and balance) were separately performed. Leg drops performed with the eyes closed (p=0.011) and with a blocked view of their leg (p=0.033) showed significant differences in drop angle between the YW and OW. Significant relationships between leg drop conditions and balance were observed in the OW that were not present within YW. When collapsed across groups, reflex latency was correlated with drop angle when the eyes were closed. The reactive leg drop was age sensitive, reliable, and likely reliant on proprioception, as shown by relationships to other sensory-motor assessments, such as balance and the patellar reflex. Although more research is needed, we propose that the reactive leg drop is an effective tool to assess sensory-motor integration in a manner that may mimic fall recovery.