How to find an SI Therapist

  • How do I find an SI therapist?

    Getting the right help is important if you suspect someone has sensory processing difficulties. This will usually involve a referral for specialist assessment and therapy including support:

    - referral

    - assessment

    - therapy, intervention and support

    If you think a family member has sensory processing difficulties, please ask your GP, Consultant, Teacher or School SENCO for a referral to a therapist qualified in sensory integration. 

    Sensory Integration Therapy involves individualised treatment based on the Ayres model of Sensory Integration. 

    It is important to be aware that some school-based and group programmes (e.g. the Alert Programme, Henry Tools or use of a Sensory Diet) draw from the Sensory Integration knowledge base but are not Sensory Integration Therapy.

    For those seeking a therapist in private practice, please follow the links below to search the relevant professional bodies private practitioner databases:

    - Occupational Therapists

    - Physiotherapists

    - Speech and Language Therapists

    If you wish to check sensory integration (SI) qualifications for a particular therapist, please see the SI Practitioners' Register here.

  • What is a sensory integration assessment and how much does it cost?

    "Evidence-based health care...was and is...an approach to decision making in which the clinician uses the best evidence available, in consultation with the patient, to decide upon the option which suits the patient best"
    (Muir Gray 1997)

    Sensory Integration Assessment, like all OT Assessment, should consist of the accumulation of information from a range of sources as well as clinical observations, typically a range of alternative tools/methods might be used. For example, some clients might or might not be able to complete the 'gold standard' standardised assessment, the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test. A therapist should be able to describe assessment tool choice, as part of their clinical reasoning.

    SI practice is considered to be an extended scope of practice by the British Association of Occupational Therapy / Royal College of OT, i.e. requiring post-qualification training. Sensory Integration Education is one of the main recognised providers of this training.

    Sensory integration assessment for adults

    The Sensory Profile by Dunn assesses via self-report (Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile) and where self-report is not possible, sometimes therapists may instead use the Paediatric Caregiver completed Sensory Profile with adults with significant learning disabilities. This should be done cautiously and alongside clinical observations. When assessing adults in similar settings a therapist might use the Sensory Integration Inventory (Reisman and Hanschu) which is an observational tool completed by the therapist in conjunction with the team.

    How much does private practice SI therapy cost?

    A private practice initial assessment can cost between £350-£500 (basic) to £600-£1000 (comprehensive). Hourly treatment sessions can cost between £50 and £100 per hour. These prices are only indications and you should always check what is included when comparing therapists' costs.

    There would be no charge for therapy provided through the NHS at the point of care. However, SI therapy may not be available in all regions of the UK.

  • How do I find a Sensory Integration occupational therapist (private practice) in my area?

    For those seeking a therapist in private practice (also some NHS therapists), you can search the following sites:

    UK - Private Practice

    You can search The Royal College of Occupational Therapists

    Ireland - Private Practice

    You can search the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland - Private Practice by keyword (sensory) and location.

    To check the qualifications of an SI Practitioner who has studied with Sensory Integration Education, please see our SI Practitioners Register here.

  • I have concerns about the school supporting my child with sensory integration difficulties

    We suggest asking your occupational therapist to assist in communicating your child's sensory integration difficulties to the school. They can specify the likely impact of sensory integration difficulties in the classroom and suggest strategies to support your child whilst at school. 

    At school the SENCO, Special Educational Needs Coordinator, can help to produce an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to outline needs and strategies to support your child.

  • How do I get a referral?

    To make a referral for an assessment for sensory integration and for intervention for sensory integration difficulties, you will need a referral to an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Speech and Language Therapist with postgraduate training in Sensory Integration.

    Ask your GP or doctor about how to get a referral for an assessment from a Sensory Integration trained Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Speech and Language Therapist.

    For referrals for school-based assessment services ask your child's teacher or the school's Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator for information about the referrals process in your area.

    For assessment for children with learning disabilities and physical disabilities, your local social care worker can advise about the referral process.

    If you receive child and adolescent or other mental health or learning disabilities services and think you need an assessment please ask your key worker at your next appointment or review.

    For those seeking a therapist in private practice, please follow the links below to search the relevant professional bodies private practitioner databases:

    Occupational Therapists

    Physiotherapists

    Speech and Language Therapists

    If you wish to check the qualifications of an SI Practitioner who has studied with Sensory Integration Education, please see our SI Practitioners Register here

  • Questions to ask your therapist about their qualifications

    If you have been referred to or are looking for assessment or therapy for sensory integration difficulties, please remember to check to make sure about what you will be receiving.

    Is it Sensory Integration Therapy?

    Sensory Integration Therapy involves individualised based treatment on the Ayres' model of Sensory Integration. It is important to be aware that programmes (e.g. the Alert Programme, Henry Tools or use of a Sensory Diet) draw from the Sensory Integration knowledge base, but are not the same as Sensory Integration Therapy.

    Is the therapist a State Registered Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Speech and Language Therapist? 

    In the United Kingdom, this will mean registration with the Health Professions Council, registration can be checked online. In Ireland, Physiotherapists will be registered in 2009 and Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapist in 2010.

    Has the therapist completed postgraduate training?

    Postgraduate education is offered worldwide through Sensory Integration Education in partnership with the Sheffield Hallam University.

    Are you a qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner?

    You can check the qualifications of therapists who have completed training with Sensory Integration Education on the SI Practitioners Register here.

    Which modules do I need to practise sensory integration therapy?

    A Sensory Integration Practitioner must complete and pass:
    SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience
    SI Module 2: Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration - Assessment
    SI Module 3: From Assessment to Intervention


    A Sensory Integration Advanced Practitioner must complete and pass:
    SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience
    SI Module 2: Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration - Assessment
    SI Module 3: From Assessment to Intervention
    SI Module 4: Advanced Treatment

    Sensory Integration Education recommends that all independent practitioners are accredited to at least SI Module 3 level with a preference for Advanced Practitioners Status.

    If you wish to check sensory integration (SI) qualifications for a particular therapist, please visit the  SI Practitioners' Register on Sensory Integration Education's website.

    Is the therapist involved in a mentoring or supervision programme?

    All Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists should be involved in a programme of supervision or mentoring. This should be regular and ongoing.

    Is the therapist maintaining up-to-date training and evidence of continuing professional development (CPD)?

    This may be evidenced by attendance at annual conferences, workshops and courses through the use of reflective practice, attendance of SI peer and supervision groups and reading of up-to-date literature.

    Sensory Integration on-going education may be evidenced by courses undertaken, keeping up to date through SensorNet Newsletter and website news and journals including relevant Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Neuroscience publications.