ICEASI has recommended education standards for competency to practice Ayres Sensory Integration. AOTA have published an article, including the table below, in their publication OT Practice in 2017 discussing this in more detail. Sadly the full article is not accessible to those who are not AOTA members.
These standards were finalised at a meeting in 2017. They were developed from original proposals and ideas first developed by an international group of leaders in the field of Ayres’ Sensory Integration in 2009/2010 at R2K in LA, USA with further development and refining at meetings held at ESIC’s including Austria (2009), Portugal (2011), Finland (2014), Birmingham, United Kingdom (2015) and Austria (2017).
There are so many fantastic books available to those interested in finding out more about Ayres’ Sensory Integration, Check out our Facebook “book corner” photo album and some of our previous blog posts for some fantastic reviews of these books.
When I was a child my English teacher told my mother that she should encourage me to read more, my mum simply told her that if she did that she would never actually get to see me. You see from the moment I could read that was what I most loved. I loved the books, I loved our weekly trips to the library, I still love the smell of a new book, the feel of an old book, folding back the pages of places I needed to find again. I especially love when the book is my own and I can make my own notes in it and mark the pages. Oh and books that are gifts which have personal inscriptions on the front page.
Twenty years after I started my first university course I found myself back in higher education. On returning to study my first question was…”Where have all the books gone?” I have to confess that the geek in me was really looking forward to getting my hands on some new reading material. Our online library and the access we have to databases is mindblowing in its extent. The Internet has absolutely revolutionised the speed at which I can access almost any book or journal from anywhere at anytime.
In lectures we are encouraged not to write so much, and told that “the powerpoints are available online”, and they always are. However, whilst I have almost unlimited access to endless amounts of quality information I just don’t feel that I am learning effectively from a screen, and learning without a pen in my hand feels strange.
I came across this post by business insider which summarised this systematic review by Lauren M. Singer and Patricia A. Alexander who looked at many years of empirical research to see if there was any evidence for differences in comprehension between reading on paper and reading digitally. It appears that I am not alone in struggling to learn digitally. The study found that students tend to read faster online which is more effective when trying to understand a general idea but for in-depth comprehension that most students did significantly better when reading printed text.
Currently, Amazon is my new best friend, as is the colouring in book I carry with me to class each day.
If you are a book lover, digital paper or otherwise, you have some post-grad education in Ayres’ Sensory Integration and you would like to join us in reviewing some relevant books and articles you are welcome to follow this link to join our facebook group – also please don’t forget to answer the questions – Ayres’ Sensory Integration Book and Journal club.
We will be adding more book reviews over the coming months, make sure you have signed up to follow us on – If you would like to review your favourite book for us as a guest blogger, please get in contact with us
Contains: table of contents, superkids manifesto, how to use this book, resources and templates and an index. Chapters for rocking morning routines, magical mealtime solutions, whizz-bang waiting hacks, stellar learning secrets, incredible play ideas, maxin’ and relaxin’ night-time rituals.
My ten-year-old road tested this book with me. He gave it an 8 out of 10. Here are our favourite parts.
This book tells older children about ALL of their senses with pronounciation guides for each sense, which is really helpful when a book introduces your proprioceptive, vestibular and interoceptive senses. Each activity is designed to help you get into a “just right” speed.
Each activity tells you how to train your adult to see the benefits you will get from using it
The activity that we started using right away: animal walks for rocking morning routines
The first activity we will start making: a magnetic morning routines chart with a to do column for your routine and a done column where you can move your magnet when its activity is done.
For Little Kids: DIY ABC by Eleanora Marton. It promises a new take on the alphabet format and a four year old friend shared their copy with me.
Each letter has a page and an activity.
My favourite part? G is for gardening! Who wouldn’t like the page that allows you to trim the strips of green grass. Drawing ants to add to the anthill also provided some fun. This book also has:
A page for kisses that you can add a kiss to with a lip print in lipstick or chapstick
Did you know that a study by an OT, Valeria Isaac, and her colleagues, has shown that some children with ADHD have measurable differences in how they process vestibular input?
The study, which was carried out in Santiago, Chile was presented by Valeria at ESIC in Austria in 2017 and is entitled “Altered Cervical Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic Potential in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder” It was published last year in Frontiers in Neurology (ref: 2017;8:90. doi:10.3389/fneur.2017.00090)
Although not limited to Occupational Therapy using Ayres’ Sensory Integration, this great video about Occupational Therapy from AOTA is a great one to share, it makes clear the links between functional participation in daily life and therapy.
Reminded again today on FB about this amazing animation from Beacon House – which fits so neatly with our practice of Ayres SI in combination with other techniques when we work with children, adolescents and adults with trauma. The window of tolerance fits neatly with many approaches used in mental health by SI Practitioners including Alert Program (aka Engine Run), Sensory Ladders, Sensory Attachment Intervention and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
We had a great weekend thinking about how to support people with sensory integration difficulties . We talked about how we are all sensory beings, and how sensory preferences shape who we are, our hobbies and our careers…this article explores sensory processing and how this can impact attachment, coping and relationships.
Learning about the senses is critical to how we practice as sensory integration therapists – here is a great video to help remind us not just about why touch is vital to early development, but also, as Harlow showed us, why it is critical for survival.
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.