Celebrating International Women’s Day 2019

This international women’s day, ASI wise are remembering and celebrating Dr. A. Jean Ayres a neuroscientist, educational psychologist and occupational therapist who pioneered the concepts of sensory integration and its impact on human learning and development. She wrote books, papers and research articles, mentored therapists and offered pioneering therapy to children, inspiring therapists over the globe to take her work and research, develop, teach and…

Choosing Wisely ® and ASI – a fantastic initiative from AOTA – it got me thinking about why people think sensory is easy and just anyone can do it.

Just like a parent can decide a child has a cold and needs Calpol, a sensory rich home environment can help support development. However just like a child may need a Dr, Dentist or other specialist if they have a more serious illness, what some people need is specialist intervention. Sensory Integration therapy requires years of training, first just to become a therapist and then…

Messy Play 1 – What is messy play and how can it help?

Submitted by guest blogger, Ruth OT It’s the summer holidays for most schools in England, including my kid’s schools. I’m well known for my love of messy/ tactile play, and summer holidays and messy play are made to go together. First of all, can I just say that messy play is not just about the sensory input, it’s not a “sensory session”, it’s certainly not…

Assessment tools are just that – tools in our toolbox!

We should use and value our specialist skills – promoting our profession – information from one assessment tool is not a comprehensive assessment. We should act with integrity and only practice what we are skilled in and trained to do. This can and must include postgraduate training and we should value this investment in our own skills to deliver a great service to our clients.…

Occupational Therapy and Trauma 3: A Tool for considering the physical environment in children’s residential homes to address sensory processing issues in trauma-affected children

This article by Clinical Psychologists Christopher Robinson and Alicia Madeleine Brown in the Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care includes a lovely environmental checklist (adapted from Simpson 2009) used in considering the physical environment in three children’s residential homes. Abstract: Sensory processing issues are generally considered to be clinically significant in children who have suffered abuse and trauma and much has been written about the…

A Weekend of Learning at Abbot’s Lea School, Liverpool – Using Sensory Strategies for Mental Health and wellbeing Weekend Workshop

The ASI Wise lecture team have been at Abbot’s Lea School in Liverpool this weekend with a fantastic group of committed and enthusiastic occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and teachers exploring the use of sensory strategies and Ayres’ Sensory Integration therapy to support children, young people and adults mental and wellbeing health.      Experiential learning opportunities, embedded into the course, help participants to understand their own sensory…

Sensory Ladders

The first Sensory Ladders were made in 2001 for adults with sensory integration difficulties receiving help with mental health difficulties in Cornwall. Influenced by the paediatric Alert Program, they offered therapists a way to combine Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Ayres’ Sensory Integration, addressing the development of the person’s self-awareness in collaboration with ward staff on an acute psychiatric inpatient unit. The need to start with the…

Ayres’ Sensory Integration and the great outdoors

The “just right challenge: for this plucky young lady. She clearly likes the sensory input these activities are providing to her body and brain. These are exactly the outdoor sensory system challenging opportunities afforded by climbing trees and jumping streams that  Jean Ayres’ wanted to recreate in her therapy spaces. For those of us lucky enough to live in rural areas and near great parks and other…

The “just right challenge” is not just about equipment and activity, it’s about our therapeutic use of self – as OT’s doing ASI we need to be shapeshifting chameleons.

The skillful therapist is like a chameleon – able to shapeshift and turn their hand to any and all presentations; artfully engaging with, weaving and drawing out magical cooperation; making it fun. The art of both assessment and therapy are to make sure whatever we do, it is the “just right challenge”. Whether it’s just the right way of being to connect to a child,…

Ayres’ suggested therapy was most successful when it offered the ‘just right challenge’ – but what is it?

Read more about how therapists use a just right challenge to promote children’s development and to build their confidence and a bank of successful experiences here  on firefly community – How to Introduce the ‘Just Right Challenge’ to Your Child’s Therapy For students, this article by Donna Costa reflects on  – The just right challenge in fieldwork   “Just as we grade treatment activities for clients to meet the just-right challenge, so too…

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