Samantha Shard received the 2013 Rompa Quality of Life Award. The aim of this project was to develop occupational therapy services for school aged children who have a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The project focused on sensory processing difficulties, considering both modulation and praxis in children aged four to seven year olds, who were current patients of the OT service within Bassetlaw Health Partnership (Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust).
A therapist with sensory integration training and a technical instructor held weekly sensory integration sessions over eight to twelve weeks. The main aim of this was to support attention skills as a foundation for learning and to identify and address motor planning difficulties impacting on occupational performance.The Rompa award supported an OT to complete the Sensory Integration Module two/three training through the Sensory Integration Network. The voucher funded essential resources required to enhance the sensory integration experience and encouraged the child to lead the planning of activities.
Goal attainment scaling was used to measure the effectiveness of attending these sessions and proved beneficial in capturing positive changes in the attention and tactile processing skills. This project has had a significant impact on the OT service within Bassetlaw Health Partnership. A successful outcome has highlighted the relevance of a sensory integration approach with different patient groups within the paediatric service.
As a direct a direct result of this project, joint working has improved among allied health professionals and joint clinics are being explored with infants and toddlers. The profile of the service has also been raised dramatically together with an increase in other services/agencies understanding of what sensory integration is. The importance of sensory Sensory integration training within the occupational therapy service is being recognised and supported across of staff levels. Further sensory integration clinics are being planned to continue the ongoing development of this approach within the OT paediatric OT service.
First published in OT News, February 2014