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CPD: Understanding and Applying Trauma-Informed Approaches Across Occupational Therapy Settings

AOTA has really helpful and supportive articles right now – promoting the best clinical practice, with an emphasis on participation in occupation.

This article is particularly pertinent to OT’s using ASI theory and practice to create therapeutic environments supporting and scaffolding participation in daily life for those with trauma.

Read the full article here.

 

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Research update: Forest design for mental health promotion—Using perceived sensory dimensions to elicit restorative responses

Forest design for mental health promotion—Using perceived sensory dimensions to elicit restorative responses, research into the qualities of the natural environment which promote restoration

forest design for mental health promotion - research update

download full article – open access pdf here  

 

gray bridge and trees

 

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Sensory (and people) avoidance may be an appropriate adaptive response.

It turns out that some animals have changed their habits to survive competition with humans for space and resources humans. And it’s a relatively recent phenomenon.

This got me thinking about our lives and I reminded of the question I ask when lecturing. It will give my age away but it’s relevant. When you grew up, how many devices or appliances in the home were electric, hummed, whites, bleeped or transmitted a tiny blue or green or other flicking light. For those of us my age in South Africa where I grew up, TV didn’t arrive until I was already at school. I can count the appliances that created sounds and visual distraction and competed for my time and attention on just two hands – and I can’t even use up all my fingers!

Like the precious animals who are adapting to man’s machines, signs, mobile masts, planes, boats, trains and everything else we send into their work through avoiding us, many people might choose avoidance too – and do we judge this as an appropriate adaptive response?

No, because man is supposed to be a social creature who needs attachment and relationships to survive – but sometimes because of the way someone is wired and their sensory hyper-reactivity, perhaps these social relationships are worth sacrificing and loosing to ‘just survive’ – to just feel safe within one’s own skin without being constantly bombarded and overwhelmed.

If you were wired like this 100 years ago, you would have been able to still find a life or job role that matched your neurological diversity more closely. Nowadays this is becoming increasingly impossible unless one escapes to a desolate island – and these are few and far between.

Many of my clients shop in 24-hour stores at 2am to avoid others, while younger clients say they wake and eat at night when the “don’t have to hear others chew’ or have to “watch and hear them chew their food and then wipe their faces”  [face grimace and full body visceral response of disgust] !

https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/animals-are-becoming-nocturnal-to-avoid-humans

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Research Update: Atypical sensory processing and social impairments and Autism.

The link between sensory integration difficulties, restrictive repetitive behaviours and Autism has been written about and been the subject of studies for a while. However, many professionals have considered the social impairments of Autism to be completely independent to sensory processing differences. This article challenges that view.

Read more here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929316301736

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Research Update: A systematic review of ayres sensory integration intervention for children with autism.

The lay summary of this published systematic review is an excellent introduction to this paper. This peer reviewed published article is a good resource to share when evidencing the effectiveness of ASI for children with Autism.

“Ayres Sensory Integration intervention is one of the most frequently requested and highly utilized interventions in autism. This intervention has specific requirements for therapist qualifications and the process of therapy. This systematic review of studies providing Ayres Sensory Integration therapy to children with autism indicates that it is an evidence‐based practice according to the criteria of the Council for Exceptional Children.”

see https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2046

Stevenson and Carolinas have provided a critique of the publication – you can request it here.

A very helpful response has been provided by the authors comprehensively addressing all the concerns raised – you can request it here.