Monthly Archives: October 2014

Guest Blog – Jigsaw OT Events

Jigsaw Occupational Therapy is a specialist provider for children and young people living in the South East of England. Our dedicated assessment and sensory integration therapy centre is the first and only one of it’s kind in Sussex.

Jigsaw OT was founded in order to offer effective and personalised assessment and therapy specifically designed around each individual child and young person’s needs. However, for a parent or a professional, upon establishing that a child may have some difficulties or challenges, trying to understand these difficulties can often generate more questions than answers. More and more information is available now on conditions such as, Sensory Processing Disorders, however, the sheer volume of documentation can become overwhelming and confusing. 

Here at Jigsaw OT we decided it would be great if we could bring together parents, teachers, SENCo’s, Teaching Assistants, INA’s, health care professionals and carers by providing the opportunity to not only learn more about their respective child’s challenges but also have the chance to meet and talk with others who may be dealing with similar circumstances.

And so it was, that last week we were able to arrange a ‘drop-in morning’ and a training day, on consecutive days! We opened our doors for all to come and visit and to learn about what our sensory integration therapy can do. All of our OT’s were on hand to talk to and lend advice, we urged our visitors to step into our sensory integration therapy room and explore the array of specialist equipment provided by Rompa. Just a few of the items on display included the Bolster Swing, the Flexion Disc Swing, the Scooter Board, Weighted Vests, Spinning Cones, Knobbly Rolls and much, much more! For many of our visitors it was the first time they had been introduced to such apparatus and provided a much clearer indication of how the equipment works in relation to a child’s needs. Invaluable information for both parents and professionals.

Our training event focused ‘supporting children with Sensory Processing Difficulties’. Some children have difficulty “behaving appropriately” as their brain does not send their senses the correct messages. These children may have Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADHD or other learning difficulties. Those attending the event gained a better understanding of sensory processing, how to recognise children with sensory processing difficulties and how to support them in the classroom and at home.

An array of sensory toys were handed out to each of the attendees, items such as Massage Tubes, Vibration Pillows, Knot Balls, Spiky Balls, Squeezies etc. all of which were evaluated to understand how to use them as a strategy to support a child. Examples of sensory strategies were provided, involving movement, touch and deep pressure and how different items of equipment could be used together. For example, placing a weighted blanket on top of a child lying on a Walrus mattress.

All in all, both days were a fantastic success and we were delighted that we were able to reach out to so many people, both from the home and school environment. The majority of our feedback commented on how fantastic it was to be able to meet and talk to others who are experiencing similar situations. This has convinced us that it is vital that we continue to provide this platform for people and we will be arranging similar events on a regular basis in the future. For more information about what Jigsaw OT can do for your child, please contact me at [email protected].

Thank You!

The National Autisic Society at Drayton Manor

The National Autistic Society at Drayton Manor

The National Autistic Society at Drayton Manor

At the end of September, 450 Really Useful Engines gathered in Drayton Manor Theme Park to take part in a Thomas & Friends themed sponsored walk in aid of The National Autistic Society.

Amongst the walkers were lots of children and adults with autism and their families and support workers.

Thanks to Rompa, we had a lovely sensory area in our marquee – including bubble tubes, fibre optic lights and lots of fun bouncy balls and textured toys. This meant we had a lovely, calming area where our supporters could relax and enjoy the sensory experience. They also had a chance to get their faces painted, and even meet the Fat Controller, before embarking on their walk!

Energised and excited by the walk, our supporters picked up their free tickets to the theme park and enjoyed a visit to Thomas Land for the rest of the day.

Our amazing supporters have so far raised over £22,000 with money still coming in. This is all money that allows the NAS to help create a world where people with autism get to lead the lives they choose – not the lives chosen for them.

Providing a relaxing sensory room can make all the difference, and allow people with autism to participate in big events safe in the knowledge they have a quiet retreat – so thank you, Rompa, for helping us make this autism-friendly day possible!

To find out more about autism-friendly fundraising events throughout the year, contact [email protected]

Portable Midi Bubble Tube – Product Advisory

Our attention has recently been drawn to a potential issue that could cause damage to Portable Midi Bubble Tube units (18516), purchased through Rompa before the 1st October 2014. If you have purchased this item you will receive a letter containing this advisory statement, a plastic fitting and some warning stickers.

An issue may arise if an INCORRECT connector is inserted into the socket that is intended for the use of the Rompa Interactive Switch Box (17274) only. This socket, located on the unit’s base, is an RJ45 (or network) socket. Please see the image above.
We would like to take this opportunity to advise you how you can avoid this issue and to provide you with a fixture that will help eliminate such a possibility.

  • Firstly, you MUST NOT use the socket for anything other than its intended use i.e. connection of the Rompa Interactive Switch Box (17274).
  • Secondly, you should insert the plastic fitting, included with your letter, so that it covers the socket to prevent it being used for any reason other than with a Rompa Interactive Switch Box (17274).
  • Thirdly, you should apply the stickers, enclosed with your letter, to the base of the unit so that clear messages are visible.
  • Please confirm receipt of these instructions by completing and returning the slip attached to your letter.

Using an incorrect connector may cause an electrical short across two of the contacts inside the socket. If this happens the unit may suffer an internal connection cable failure which may disable your unit. This can also cause smoke vapour to escape the base unit and this may set off any fire alarms in the vicinity. Tests by the manufacturer have proven that the unit would not ignite into flames as it has safety devices to prevent this.

If you have any questions and or concerns please contact us as follows:

Telephone +44 (0) 1246 211777

E mail – [email protected] please quote ref. PMBT

Oral Motor – A Sensory Perspective

Sensory processing and integration provides body control,

Chew Pendants

Chew Pendants

underpins all normative functioning and enables decision-making. It impacts on how we move, plan and co-ordinate our motor functioning, communicate, behave, develop and participate occupationally. A lack of regulated sensory control means people cannot engage effectively in everyday life activities. Dysfunctions in sensory processing therefore significantly impact on life quality.

Oral motor difficulties are a key current issue and we are regularly asked for more resources to help support this need (a new Oral Motor Kit will be launched in 2015 – watch this space!). Inappropriate behaviours exhibited that people can find confusing/distressing are:

  • Mouthing non-food items (chewing, licking, eating, biting, self-harming, tugging and shredding clothes/soft furnishings etc. with teeth. Rolling/spitting bits of chewed items)
  • Not being able or refusing to feed independently
  • Spitting out food/gagging when eating
  • Experiencing a very restricted diet with avoidance of certain foods.
  • Poor oral hygiene (cleaning teeth intolerance)

So, why does this happen?

Circular Chew Pendant

Circular Chew Pendant

Taking a sensory perspective, imagine you cannot understand or put into context the feelings and sensations that your body is experiencing or feeling (light/texture/smell/taste/sound). Maybe these are experienced as so overwhelmingly intense that you want to withdraw because the input is unpleasant. Sensory input may be so minimal/distant that you can’t hardly register it so you may seek greater/more extreme input to enable you to experience this. Sensory input can be experienced as painful or irritating. You may not understand what this input is, know what to do or be able to co-ordinate an appropriate response. Self-stimulatory behaviour such as chewing/biting can be a way of comforting, relieve anxiety, reduce fear and initiated to prevent sensory overload.

There may be other reasons why these behaviours occur and clinical assessments, profiling and observation will identify causal issue/s and establish clinical reasoning.

Taking the oral motor example, perhaps the individual;

  • doesn’t like the texture of what they are eating.
  • doesn’t like food going where they can’t see it.
  • has a poor chewing pattern.
  • can’t feel the food, perhaps there isn’t enough sensation to register the feelings of the food properly in the mouth and this feels unpleasant/painful or tickly.
  • has fine motor skill, visual or cognitive difficulties.

A sensory approach may include consideration of interventions such as:

  • Texture – Crunchy/harder textured food such as foods that you need to bite hard on such as apples. Food with inclusions (e.g. seeds/nuts etc)
  • Sucking & Licking – Thicker drinks though straws. Ice lolly.
  • Taste – sour, sweet, spicy
  • Vibration – electric toothbrush
  • Temperature – Experimentation with cold and hot. Using ice cubes, perhaps with just water, or perhaps a “taste” object inside or use flavoured water or juice. Try fizzy foods, popping candy.
  • Chewing – Offering safe chewing products. Chewing flavoured gum or chewy foods. We offer a variety here –
  • Blowing activities – blow feathers/paper around with straws? Blow through a straw in the bath to make bubbles. Blow raspberries. We sell blow lotto here –
  • Movement – Geurning – pulling silly faces, sticking tongue out. We have a therapy mirror here –