No hugging? Really?!

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2018

This is such a good article talking about the importance of our mental health through the skin system - or as I call it - our sensory health. 

Strokes and hugs are being edged out of our lives, with doctors, teachers and colleagues increasingly hesitant about social touching. Is this hypervigilance of boundaries beginning to harm our mental health?

Exert from The Guardian Newspaper: Wed 7 Mar 2018. Paula Cocozza


"When did you last touch someone outside your family or intimate relationship? I don’t mean a brush of the fingers when you took your parcel from the delivery guy. I mean: when did you pat the arm or back of a stranger, colleague or friend? My own touch diary says that I have touched five people to whom I’m not related in the past seven days. One was a newborn and two were accidental (that was the delivery guy). Touch is the first sense humans develop in the womb, possessed even of 1.5cm embryos. But somewhere in adulthood what was instinctive to us as...

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Great Black Friday Sensory Gift Ideas

Uncategorized Nov 16, 2017

Here are some great ideas to make life so much easier and bring a smile to anyone's Christmas! 

Relieve the stress of haircutting - no sound or vibration! 

for a little fun - great proprioception through the arms and legs and controlled vestibular input - perfect.

 

If you need to expend some energy - indoors - attaches to any door frame. Happy days :) 

 Or the best sensory present of all in my opinion...

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Do you have a Toe-Walker?

Uncategorized Aug 16, 2017

Toe - walking, for those who do it, is one of the most natural and obvious things they can do - but why?

What's going on?

What is it?

Let's just check we're talking about the same thing:

Does the person spend more time up on their toes than not?Are calf muscles stronger and harder than expected?
Are heels rarely placed down?
Often stumbling?
Are they more comfortable or stable on toes?


Up to around the age of three this can still be typical, however it can be a "soft sign" that there might be an underlying situation. Perhaps check first with a doctor or physio to check there are no other issues going on, or contractures (a tightening or shortening of the muscle), that will make sensory treatments much harder to be effective. 

A physiotherapist would be able to do a gait assessment, and then provide individualized stretches to help the muscles and joints stay balanced and mobile. Significant tightness may need splints (which are braces that are worn to gently stretch out the ankles...

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Research - Effect of Classroom modification on Attention and Engagement in students with Autism or Dyspraxia

Uncategorized May 17, 2017

Here's research evidence of the positive difference understanding sensory issues makes when applied to changing the environment.  

For those who are not into reading research papers - basically, the students mood, attention and what they could do all improved by putting sound reducing panels on the wall and changing the bulbs to hallogen lighting. This could be just as effective in homes or in the workplace.

 Author: Kinnealey, Moya; Pfeiffer, Beth; Miller, Jennifer; Roan, Cecilia; Shoener, Rachel; Ellner, Matt L. 2012. American Journal of Occupational Therapy Vol 66(5) p 511-519
 

4 young men aged between 13-20 were assessed for how well they attended, how well they performed in the class and how good they felt about their work, their life and mood after having sound insulation attached to the walls and ceiling of the class and the lights changed from flourescent ones to hallogen ones.

The young men journalled and took notes about what they felt about the...

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Survived Christmas?

Uncategorized Dec 30, 2016

How was Christmas for you?

If this is the most stressful time of year for you and there are more meltdowns per day than usual - the good news is you are not alone, and the best news is that that are loads of strategies to help! Most of these are tried and tested but it is well worth tuning into your own sensory thumbprint at this time and learning year by year what works for you and what doesn't. Three years from now you could so look forward to Christmas :). (No, i'm not joking!!) 

Top three tips: (for you or your family member)

1) To start with, take the pressure off yourself feeling you have to do what everyone else does!

2) At the start of December, work out in advance how many social interactions you think you will be able to cope with in a day, stick to it and plan ahead where you can but communicate lovingly to all around when you are coming up to your optimum number and make sharp exit!!

3) Make sure you schedule in more exercise time (for healthy...

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What's Your Unique Sensory Thumbprint?

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2016

What better way to start taking care of your sensory health than by asking yourself, "what's my unique sensory thumbprint?" Do you know what makes you feel good? Do you know what bothers you? Do you know what's going on in each of your senses?

I really hope you do, as there's nothing worse than not feeling on best form and not knowing why! At least if we can assess our sensory environment and all that's been going on in it for the last few hours then we can either count that in as a major factor or not.

Our senses our so foundational to how alert and 'with it' we feel, how competent we are at certain tasks, and how well we relate to others that we can't just take our sensory processing for granted.

Take 5 minutes today, look through the downloads from the course and see how your day is matching up with what you've already written down. In that unique thumbprint may lay the answer to your well being for the day.

Here's to your sensory health - santé! x

 

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Welcome!

Uncategorized May 31, 2016

Welcome to Santé Occupational Therapy Blog!

It'll be great to fill this blog site up with musings, thoughts, tips, ideas, fun things to do, latest research, treatment activities and comments! See you again soon. x

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