After last night’s Coffee and Chat about Neurodiversity in the Workplace, we launched Today we are celebrating neurodiversity at the start of day 2 of our Mental health, Trauma and Wellbeing Workshop with our lecture about neurodiversity. Great reads about ways to adapt the environment and tasks to support people with neurodiversity in the workplace and at home. Find more here Recommended Reading in our Amazon Shop.
For more resources to support your practice including to share with schools and businesses some great resources are available at:
This intensive course is now offered in English, by published Occupational Therapist and researcher Valeria Isaac. Valeria’s presentations at the European Sensory Integration Congress have always been thought provoking, providing knowledge to inform clinical practice.
Suitable for those seeking post-certification education in Ayres SI, this course focuses specifically on the auditory system, addressing modulation and perception processing in-depth. This workshop has a strong focus on neurobiology and updated scientific evidence impacting behaviour and learning relating to auditory processing.
This course doesn’t address particular clinical assessment techniques or specific treatment methods but rather aims to develop discussion and clinical reasoning using scientific evidence to address auditory difficulties in clinical practices.
This course consists of two modules, which include the following topics:
Module 1: May, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 · Introduction to the auditory system from a sensory integration perspective · Historical evidence and evolutionary development of the auditory system · Neuroanatomical review of auditory organs and neuronal circuits · Afferent and efferent neurophysiology · Central brain structures for auditory perception and integration
Module 2: May, Saturday 22, and Sunday 23 · The auditory system in childhood development · How auditory processing influences learning and behaviour · Auditory modulation and perception in sensory integration · Audition and cognition · Current research findings regarding auditory processes in sensory integration
Graduated in Occupational Therapy [University of Chile]. Director of Neurosens, Valeria has a Master’s in Medical and Biological Sciences [Neurosciences]. Valeria received her post-graduate certification in Sensory Integration from the University of Southern California, USA.
She completed her Certification in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing by Western Psychological Services USA. Valeria is the founding member of the SITA Foundation® (Sensory Integration Therapy Approach) and a Director of the postgraduate course “OT in Child Neuropsychiatry with a focus on Sensory Integration” at the University of San Sebastián in Santiago. As an active member of the Chilean Society of Neurosciences, she is leading research projects in the area of sensory integration at the University of Chile.
Join us for coffee and chat in Neurodiversity Celebration Week to explore ways Occupational Therapists support and promote neurodiversity in the workplace. This week we are considering the importance of occupation, with experts in this our member occupational therapists; supporting occupation through the senses.
People often ask about DCD and Sensory Integration and processing difficulties. This article reminds us of the importance of thorough assessment. At ASI Wise we would recommend through assessment beyond parent/teacher report – as data that drives intervention ensures therapy is targetted and specific, meaning it is likely to be more effective in addressing difficulties in sensory integration and processing contributing to problems with participation in activities of everyday life like school, self-care eg eating, dressing, washing, play, communication and interaction with others and even sleep.
The aims of this study were to identify sensory processing profiles specific to preschoolers with DCD in a community sample and examine the association of sensory processing problems with motor coordination difficulties in these children. Sixty-three 5-year-old children with DCD and without other neurodevelopmental disorders and 106 age-matched typically developing children participated in this study. Sensory processing problems were assessed using the Sensory Profile. Our results demonstrated problems in wide sensory processing patterns (low registration, sensitivity and avoiding) and areas (auditory, vestibular, touch and oral) in children with DCD compared with typically developing children. Additionally, the association of problems in sensory processing patterns (sensitivity and avoiding) and areas (touch and auditory) with motor coordination difficulties were identified in children with DCD alone. Our findings indicate that sensory processing abnormalities may contribute to the pathophysiology of DCD, suggesting the importance of assessing sensory processing functions in children with DCD.
Mikami, M., Hirota, T., Takahashi, M. et al. (2020) Atypical Sensory Processing Profiles and Their Associations With Motor Problems In Preschoolers With Developmental Coordination Disorder. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-020-01013-5
Join us to refresh your knowledge of the vestibular system. It is so central to our ability to be upright against gravity, move through space and even to be able to feel safe lying still. It is very flexible and very neuroplastic. This is an important feature of the vestibular system, making it easily adaptable to altering circumstances in the environment we are moving in. It is commonly known that the vestibular system is critical to balance, however, increasingly, research suggests an association between vestibular function and psychiatric and cognitive symptoms, even when balance is not affected. Refresh your knowledge and how important this sensory system is below.
Rogge et al in 2018 made a compelling argument about the impact of movement on structural plasticity. This lends evidence to how fun playful movement included in occupational therapy and physiotherapy intervention sessions utilising Ayres’ Sensory Integration may facilitate change to cognition via changes in brain areas associated with spatial orientation and memory.
Physical exercise has been shown to induce structural plasticity in the human brain and to enhance cognitive functions. While previous studies focused on aerobic exercise, suggesting a link between increased cardiorespiratory fitness and exercise-induced neuroplasticity, recent findings have suggested that whole-body exercise with minor metabolic demands elicit beneficial effects on brain structure as well. In the present study, we tested if balance training, challenging the sensory-motor system and vestibular self-motion perception, induces structural plasticity. Thirty-seven healthy adults aged 19-65 years were randomly assigned to either a balance training or a relaxation training group. All participants exercised twice a week for 12 weeks. Assessments before and after the training included a balance test and the acquisition of high-resolution T1-weighted images to analyze morphological brain changes. Only the balance group significantly improved balance performance after training. Cortical thickness was increased in the superior temporal cortex, in visual association cortices, in the posterior cingulate cortex, in the superior frontal sulcus, and in the precentral gyrus in the balance group, compared to the relaxation group. Moreover, there was evidence that the balance training resulted in decreased putamen volume. Improved balance performance correlated with the increase of precentral cortical thickness and the decrease in putamen volume. The results suggest that balance training elicits neuroplasticity in brain regions associated with visual and vestibular self-motion perception. As these regions are known for their role in spatial orienting and memory, stimulating visual-vestibular pathways during self-motion might mediate beneficial effects of physical exercise on cognition.
Vestibular processing difficulties are ubiquitous with anxiety – in literature both within and without occupational and physiotherapy eg as in the anxiety seen in vertigo/MH etc. Vestibular processing difficulties can be quite discrete, and less obvious than “traditional” dyspraxia. This can be why they are sometimes missed. Often people thinking about dyspraxia think about a common interpretation of the term, with a view of the child being very obviously ‘clumsy’. A dyspraxic pattern on VBIS is often more subtle/discrete, showing up later with difficulties common in organisational skills and feedforward/consequences to actions. Increasingly sensory integration and processing difficulties in both children and adults with very mild differences are identified by occupational therapists working in CAMHS and Mental Health Teams.