• What we love abOuT the COT Conference

    by Martin Reid

    Martin Reid of the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) tells the story of Conference 2016, revealing that it was the biggest ever conference delivered by the OT, and that it trended on Twitter each day (inspite of the major news stories in the UK at the end of June).

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  • COT Pearson Award winner champions a ‘do with’ culture to improve outcomes for patients with personality disorders

    Image credit: Christof Van Der Walt

    Keir Harding was the recipient of this year’s COT Pearson Award for education, research or continuing professional development, an award which funded Keir’s attendance at the British and Irish Group for Study of Personality Disorders annual conference (BIGSPD). Here, Keir talks about applying for this award and the impact that ‘healing through doing’ can have on an individual's life.

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  • New: Sensory Profile 2

    We are delighted to be starting February with a new product launch - the eagerly awaited Sensory Profile 2 by author Dr Winnie Dunn.

    The Sensory Profile 2 is a family of assessments that provides you with standardised tools to help evaluate a child’s sensory processing patterns in the context of home, school and community-based activities.

    To learn more, view our new Author Learning Series; broadcasts presented by Dr. Winnie Dunn with detailed information on each of the forms.

    Plus, we've also put together the following infographic which gives you a handy overview of the technical developments:

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  • A trip to Brighton for the COT 2014 Conference #COT2014

    We were delighted to be back at the Brighton conference centre this month for a busy COT 2014 Annual Conference.

    This year saw the launch of the first COT Conference App, which we were excited to sponsor. It was great to see so many delegates using the app to schedule their attendance at sessions, taking notes, sharing content via social media and exploring the vast number of exhibitors which were present. We hope the app helped to enhance your visit. Plus, look out for new content being added soon.

    COT has to be one of the most tweeted conferences on our events calendar. Throughout we were busy following, tweeting and re-tweeting comments using the #COT2014. If you couldn’t attend it is a great way to keep up-to-date with all the news - you can also follow our channel by searching for @PsychCorpUK.

    COT have put together a great summary here of popular tweets, photos and blogs: http://eventifier.com/event/cot2014/popular

    We were also pleased to meet with OT students Catherine Hastings and Helen Jones who are studying for their BSc Honours Degree at Sheffield Hallam University and their Senior Lecturer, Colette Beecher, who ran a workshop on ‘Learning Neuro-anatomy the Occupational Therapy Way’. Here is Catherine and Helen with Shelley Hughes, our Senior Product Manager, for Occupational Therapy.

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  • A look at our recent ADOS-2 clinical workshops

    This month our 3rd ADOS-2 Clinical Workshop (now endorsed by the College of Occupational Therapists) was held at our London offices.

    It went ahead despite the floods, train lines being swamped and the prospect of yet another tube strike! Luckily we all managed to get there by hook or by crook, so a BIG thank you to everyone who attended.

    With a full house, Fiona Scott, Managing Director of Spectrum Specialist Con
    sultancy Ltd, and an accredited International ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) and ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised) Trainer, ran an enthusiastic two day workshop to an animated and responsive classroom of Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. The workshop covered areas including, administration and scoring, operationalising diagnostic criteria for ASD; and gave attendees the opportunity to practice scoring with guidance from Fiona.

    With our feedback forms (we always welcome honest and informative feedback), we found that these sessions have been well received and informative. We also learnt that further advanced training sessions would be greatly appreciated by our customers. Something we are keen to look at - so watch this space.

    Our next workshop is in May and we are already taking bookings, so do visit our website to secure your spot.

    Here are just a few of the comments we received:  

    “Excellent delivery - a lot of clinical material and important points covered very clearly...Great to have a presenter with broad research and clinical knowledge”

    “I found the two day course very enjoyable and felt I learnt everything I needed to use the ADOS-2”

    “Extremely well presented and designed course. It fully met my expectations.”

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  • Winner of the COT Pearson Award for education, research or CPD announced

    Samantha Armitage, a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), has been named as the winner of the 2013 COT Pearson Award for education, research or continuing professional development. 

    Samantha has been qualified as an occupational therapist for eight years and has worked in paediatrics for six. Samantha currently works for East Cheshire NHS Trust as a community children’s occupational therapist.

    Read the full press release, and Samantha's reaction to the news.

    Following the announcement we caught up with Samantha to find out more about her background and how the COT Pearson Award will support her development.

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and training?

    I have been qualified as an Occupational Therapist for eight years and have worked in paediatrics for six years. I currently work for East Cheshire NHS Trust as a community children’s OT. As a paediatric practitioner I commenced post-graduate training in Sensory Integration Therapy four years ago, learning the foundations of theory, skills and evidence to guide practice when using the approach. I integrated knowledge and skills from this training into my NHS work to consolidate my learning, whilst also reflecting on the practical application of learning outcomes into the NHS environment through case studies, bringing together theory, evidence and practice.

    After a 12 month secondment to complete a Master of Research qualification, I have returned to practice and identified the need to develop more specialist services for children with Sensory Processing Disorders. Continuing my progress along the Sensory Integration post graduate training pathway, offered through the collaborate efforts of the Sensory Integration Network and The University of Ulster, will enable me to develop services in a methodological, specialised and evidence based way, ensuring children and families receive the most effective therapy and achieve optimum health outcomes. Winning the Pearson Award this year has allowed me to pursue this goal.

    What encouraged you to apply for the BAOT and Pearson Assessment award?

    As the NHS provide such eclectic health services, particularly in community paediatric settings, securing funding for developing more specialist areas of practice is difficult as resources are prioritised for learning and development which will be generalised across services. Resourcefulness is therefore needed to find ways in which these much needed specialist services can be developed. I saw the BAOT and Pearson Assessment Award through the announcement of annual awards in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and saw an opportunity to apply for support in the CPD element of developing this service.

    Which course(s) will you be attending?

    I will be attending a course entitled ‘From Assessment to Practice’, the second module on the Sensory Integration post graduate training pathway. This modular pathway has been developed collaboratively between the Sensory Integration Network and The University of Ulster to offer a total of three modules of learning where specialist skills, knowledge and practice can be gained in Sensory Integration and academic recognition of learning is awarded. The learning outcomes for module 2 are based around the selection, utilisation and evaluation of assessment tools for practice including structured and unstructured clinical observations as well as use of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), a standardised assessment tool. The module is split into two blocks of teaching, I will be attending my first block in June, complete two months of consolidation where I will apply learning to practice and return for the second taught week in September.

    Why did you choose these courses? 

    My interest in Sensory Integration started when I was a student OT on placement, in paediatrics, with an educator who was passionate about Sensory Integration and the role it has within child development. This spurred me to commence formal training in 2010 as a qualified OT. I was fortunate to be supported by East Cheshire NHS Trust in applying this training to practice, developing my understanding of Sensory Integration (SI) and my therapeutic practice.

    As my own understanding of the role of SI has developed, I have been able to recognize more clearly the needs of children with Sensory Processing Disorders and wish to continue to develop a service that can be responsive to these needs. The course selected allows me to build on my previous knowledge, ensuring my CPD is progressive in this area and will allow me to amalgamate research, evidence and practice ensuring knowledge and skills gained are current and evidence based, qualities which will be reflected in practice.

    What outcomes are you hoping to achieve?

    Specific learning outcomes are clearly related to assessing, identifying, diagnosing and differentiating Sensory Processing Disorders in children in order to recognize when Sensory Integration Therapy is indicated for intervention. These outcomes will be achieved through critically appraising the approach, ensuring appropriate selection in practice, reliably administering and analysing the SIPT and incorporating information gained into clinical reasoning, applying sensory integration techniques into assessment practices and through applying evidence, practice, experience and theory to the clinical process of diagnosis and treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder.

    Generalised outcomes are to improve the quality of services received by children with Sensory Processing Disorders and their families through providing evidence based, specialist services which are effective and able to optimize health outcomes.

    Congratulations Samantha, we look forward to hearing how your course goes later in the year. 

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