30 Jun

Thoughts From a Therapist: In Suspense For New ASI Space

Originally published on Sensory Integration Education on 29 August 2021.

This is a new regular series written by Advanced SI Practitioner Anna Willis about something that piqued her professional interest or inspired her in some way over the last month. Anna, an occupational therapist and owner of Active Play Therapies, has over 10 years of experience working with children and adults with a range of learning disabilities and autism. This month, Anna discusses her excitement about a new ASI space.

“Whilst scrolling on Facebook one day, I did a double take at a photo that set off my SI Geek Alarm. Suspension points!

“Since having to close my clinic space due to maternity leave, and then COVID-19 pushing services online, I have been mainly focusing on sensory assessments and emotional regulation.  However – since restrictions eased, I’d started wondering about renting a space out, investigating the local village halls. But here was a different opportunity – a gymnastics hall renting out evenings to an aerial fitness business who had installed suspension points! I called the owner and went to visit.

“Wow – SO many sensory opportunities! It had a sprung floor, sunken trampolines (including a runway style one!), a foam crash pit – as well as 3 suspension points already in situ, load tested and maintained. Financially though, the cost of renting the facility was just unfeasible for one therapist and one family. But it was too good an opportunity to miss – so this Autumn term, myself and another Advanced ASI Practitioner are going to be using this fabulous facility together, seeing two families in the space at once to provide ASI-OT.

“I’m also running a CPD session for the gymnastic coaches after speaking to the owner about the 8 sensory systems and praxis! It is a giant facility so plenty of room for multiple families, but it isn’t something I’ve tried before. In America, it’s more common to have a couple of children in a sensory gym at once – but I haven’t heard of it happening so much in the UK. I’m excited to see how this works – and shall report back on our progress!