Sensory Integration Therapy

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Additionally although it is acknowledged that concepts of sensory integration theory are included in undergraduate Occupational Therapy education, in order to practice and utilise sensory integration therapy, advanced post graduate training is required (Bundy and Murray 2002). For occupational therapist in Ireland, the recommended competency level is to have completed and received accreditation in module 1 and 2/3 of the SI Network UK and Ireland or an equivalent. In contrite the literature pertaining to multi-sensory rooms does not reference a specific training required to use multi-sensory rooms. This is an important finding as it highlights the professional standard implications of individuals not trained in sensory integration therapy completing…show more content…
Baranek (2002) argues that sensory integration therapy lacks feasibility and anti-inclusive nature of deliver undermines the philosophy of special education. Gilman (2005) supports this by proposing that ‘true sensory integration therapy can only occur in a specialised clinical environment’ (pp. 213). This is due to the fact that classic sensory integration therapy requires adequate space and equipment that is set up properly (e.g. suspended equipment, balls and crash pads) as well a trained therapists to carry out the therapy. One of core principles of sensory integration therapy is that environment must be enticing, safe and client-directed. This led Gilman (2005) to conclude that ‘it is difficult for an occupational therapist in an educational setting to provided sensory integration therapy due to the set up and space limitation in school systems’ (pp. 205). Sensory based strategies have been identified as a more feasible interventions in school (Baranek, 2002). Additionally Pagliano (1998) stated that multi-sensory rooms have transformed from an autonomous space where individuals chose what to interact with to a one that is led and directed by teachers. This is opposed to the child led philosophy on sensory integration…show more content…
The top three source of information included (i) other schools that had multi-sensory environments (ii) teachers in the school and (iii) suppliers of the multi-sensory equipment. In this study, Carter and Stephenson state that’s school reliance on equipment suppliers is concerning as by definition they are looking to sell products, appropriate or inappropriate irrespective of safety and training requirements. Carter and Stephenson (2011) advocate for the input of Occupational Therapists when designing rooms specifically due to their knowledge in sensory integration. Stadele and Malaney (2009) highlight that Occupational therapy professionals are leaders in developing and promoting multi-sensory environments. Therapists use multi-sensory environment to both relax and stimulate the individual with a disability, making assessment and treatment easier and more successful. Pagliano (1999) reasserts this by stating “The occupational therapist needs to play a foundation role in the initial design and construction of the MSE in order to ensure that the environment is designed to maximize opportunities for learning and development of functions and skills necessary for daily living”

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