ASI Wise has worked with the Merlin MS Centre, developing a strong partnership.

The Merlin MS Centre started as a small Cornish Charity providing therapy for individuals with MS. Over the years the charity has expanded to providing therapies for anyone with a neurological condition and more recently providing sensory integration therapy for individuals across the lifespan with neurodiversity.

Kath Smith, ASI Wise Director, was responsible for introducing Sensory Integration to the then Merlin MS Centre from 2010, teaching staff including visiting students studying Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Therapy Assistants, Respite Carers and Sport Therapists. Kath currently volunteers at Merlin, providing clinical support and sessions 1x week in conjunction with the therapy team and other volunteers.

Mel King, Clinical Lead Merlin Cornwall’s Neuro Therapy Centre, explains more;

“ASI Wise has worked with the Merlin MS Centre, developing a strong partnership to provide therapy which incorporates the ideals of ASI into its neurological rehabilitation approach. Working with adults and children, with neurological diagnoses and neurodiversity, Merlin is passionate about providing the right sensory opportunities to their clients. We provide assessment, education and advise, empowering people to understand their sensory needs, particularly when they are unable, though disease or disorder, to meet them as they may previously have done.”

“ASI Wise has provided training to all of the team, enabling them to link what they are seeing with the neuroscience and theories of Ayres and supporting them to tailor therapy in a truly holistic, client centred approach. Over the years our Sensory spaces have changed and expanded to include an indoor therapy space, outdoor therapy garden and hydrotherapy pool. We are continuing to develop our outdoor space to provide as many sensory opportunities for the children and adults that we work with. This is enabling us to make the most of our beautiful Cornish environment, building the confidence, and providing multi-sensory environments and experiences of all of those we work with.”

More recently Mel King, Clinical Lead Merlin Cornwall’s Neuro Therapy Centre, has started to lecture with ASI Wise, reflecting the close partnership with ASI Wise. Mel’s experience as a Neuro Physiotherapist, has supported the development of new workshop content with enhanced on content how the senses support postural control and ways to use the senses to support safe transfers, improved mobility with decreased agitation and angst when transitioning.

ASI Wise will now again, post-Covid, use Merlin as a venue in which to deliver live in person training for Allied Healthcare Professionals from the Uk, Ireland and abroad.

Merlin Neuro Therapy Centre Sensory Garden Phase 1 opened in May 2023. We worked together to inform the design of this new space with opportunities to challenge the body and brain – a great space for outdoor exploring with plants that move, smell textures and surfaces that move, space to scoot on scooters boards, a sand play area and pond, even tyre climbing stairs and a tyre hill scramble challenge.

We are working together to create and look forward to the next phase which includes outdoor sensory integration space; with swing hooks, place to climb and clamber and build dens.

Video made in conjunction with Disability Cornwall, includes Kath Smith from ASI Wise | Sensory Project and Mel King, Clinical Lead Merlin Cornwall’s Neuro Therapy Centre.