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CPD on the Sofa: Early Experiences Shape Executive Function – (our own personal air traffic control system)

Executive function skills help us plan, focus attention, switch gears, and juggle multiple tasks—much like an air traffic control system at a busy airport.

This downloadable paper provides a great way of explaining executive function to teachers and parents, drawing on the latest neuroscience and research in early development. The air-traffic analogy makes is a great tool in the therapist tool box when education parents about the importance of early development, the environment in which we learn and develop and how to support and promote development, ultimately enhancing participation in all activities and occupations of daily life – you can download the free resource here: developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/building-the-brains-air-traffic-control-system-how-early-experiences-shape-the-development-of-executive-function/

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Resources Update: Sensory University

Sensory University offers discounted pricing on school supplies, special needs toys and equipment’s for autism. See and read more at sensoryuniversity.com/

We love the look of this great product for use at school…

Desk Buddy- a Multi Textured Tactile Chewable Ruler

This product may be a useful sensory strategy to help a child who constantly fidgets.

Their website describes how it was developed by a team of Occupational Therapist, School Teachers, and product engineers who combined efforts to create this product for use both at home and in the classroom.

“For children who are constantly looking for different textures to touch or “fidget” with, the Desk Buddy® is both practical and socially acceptable in a school setting. It is simply a ruler sitting on their desk. The desk buddy is constructed from an FDA approved material so its even safe to chew on if the need were to arise. Completely dishwasher safe, and naturally bacteria resistant. “Every Child Needs a Desk Buddy® Colors shipped at random. Special request will be honored if possible.

BP, latex and Phthalate free material, coloring, and flavor. FDA approved materials and dishwasher safe.”

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Resources for Practice in Mental Health and Trauma-Informed Care: improving self-regulation to eliminate control and restraint aka TMAV

On our courses, we teach staff from CAMHS and adult/older adult mental health services how to use Ayres’ Sensory Integration to inform care including for those who have had early trauma.

On our in-house courses, we regularly teach mixed staff teams including Mental Health Nurses and Healthcare Assistants, CPN’s, OT’s, PT’s, SLT’s and Therapy Support Staff, Complementary Therapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Working with staff teams from forensic, secure, acute and longer stay units, our lecturers help teams to develop and implement sensory informed care pathways. This includes working with sensory providers to develop secure safe sensory rooms for safe self-regulation and sensory-rich movement activities suitable for secure and forensic environments, where ligature risks mean traditional swings and other equipment cannot be used.

The use of Ayres’ Sensory Integration to support health and well-being has grown across the UK and Ireland.

The research and evidence base is expanding across the globe, with more clinical audits and studies being published that report that Ayres’ Sensory Integration is

  • improving self-awareness
  • improving self-regulation
  • promoting participation in everyday life
  • increasing clients ability to engage with others, with therapy

this means that there are significant reductions in

  • days in secure or acute care
  • deliberate self-harm
  • the use of PRN medication
  • the need for the use of physical support aka TMAV

We’d like to thank Tina Champagne for pointing us in the direction of this resource which fits so neatly alongside the resources and tools we teach on our courses.

Tina ChampagneTina is a colleague and critical friend of ASI WISE – having started her journey into sensory integration in parallel to our journey here in the UK where we were focussing on improving participation in care and daily life, addressing development of skills and occupations including self care to reduce self harm and use of PRN medication. We finally met in 2004 at a first conference about ASI in MH in Cornwall, UK.

Her work in addressing the use of chemical (mace) and mechanical (cuffs) restraints in the US helped transform their mental health care and she wrote several chapters in this free online resource about developmental trauma and practical ways to institute trauma-informed care.

Resources for Eliminating Control and Restraint aka Therapeutic Manage of Aggression and Violence 

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/07/vq/restraint-resources.pdf

 

 

 

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When trauma occurs, the brain changes

Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. is a clinical researcher who integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and it’s treatment. Learn a bit more from him about how perceptual changes happen because of trauma, and how this impacts on engaging with ordinary situations, focus as well as attention. Hear how this can impact on someone’s sense of self.

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Through The Senses

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-17-16-04Sensory Integration is a model that helps us to better understand how the mind, body, and brain connect in children, teens and adults

International research increasingly supports the view held by many therapists that sensory integration difficulties underpin unusual or problem behaviours.

Everyone has their own unique sensory preferences. Our “Through the Senses” courses can help parents, carers and teachers and adults swith sensory integration challenges discover what their own unique sensory profiles and sensory preferences are.

When we discover what our own unique sensory profiles and sensory preferences are we are better able to understand ourselves or be ‘sensory detectives’ for those we look after and support. When we are able to understand someone’s behaviours in terms of sensory integration theory; we are able to feel comfortable advocating about what helps them, how to creatively meet their sensory needs and explore practical ways to do this anywhere.

When we are able to understand someone’s behaviours in terms of sensory integration theory; we are able to feel comfortable advocating about what helps them, how to creatively meet their sensory needs and explore and implement practical ways to do this anywhere.