What is Ayres Sensory Integration® ?
Ayres Sensory Integration® (ASI) is a well-established and growing area of therapeutic practice with applications in various settings including the home, school, and community. Developed by A. Jean Ayres, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, an occupational therapist, psychologist, and neuroscientist, this framework was originally shown to be effective with children with learning and behavior difficulties and has since emerged as an evidence-based practice for use with children with autism. Applications have been broadly applied with individuals with a variety of disabilities and age- groups. ASI is trademarked to help researchers, therapists, and parents identify the core principles which define ASI and to differentiate this evidence-based intervention from other approaches which may use some aspects of sensory-based activities, but do not meet the criteria for ASI.
What is the CLASI-CASI?
The Certificate in Ayres Sensory Integration (CASI), offered through the Collaborative for Leadership in ASI (CLASI), is an advanced training program that was initiated in 2016 to continue the legacy of excellence in education, research, and practice in the body of knowledge which was originated by Dr. A. Jean Ayres and which has been continued by other researchers, practitioners, and educators. This education program is produced according to the guidelines of the International Coalition of Education in Ayres Sensory Integration(R) and aligned with the Ayres 2020 Vision, promoting excellence in scholarship, assessment, and education in ASI.
What is included in the CLASI-CASI program?
The CLASI CASI includes 6 Modules (four online and two onsite) plus supplemental activities, assignments, and webinars, for a total of 180 hours. The modules are designed for therapists as a comprehensive and practical foundation of knowledge and skills in ASI theory, assessment and intervention. The training builds competencies from research to practice, including administering and interpreting the SIPT and EASI, and results in the CLASI Certificate in Ayres Sensory Integration. A detailed description of the 6 Modules can be found at (link).
Who can enroll in the CLASI-CASI program?
M1 – is open to all who wish to learn about ASI theory
M2, M3, M4, M5 – are open to health-care professionals with college/university degrees in occupational therapy, speech pathology, psychology, and medicine
M6 – is open to occupational therapists (OT), physical therapists (PT), and speech and language pathologists (SLP)
*Participants will receive a certificate of attendance to verify continuing education credit (approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association-AOTA for each Module. However, the CLASI – CASI Certificate in Ayres Sensory Integration is restricted to occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists
What if I already hold an Ayres Sensory Integration Certificate from another program?
While having multiple certificates in not necessary, qualified therapists who have previously completed an SI Certificate program through an approved program are welcome to register for any of the CLASI CASI modules.
How can I compare the CLASI CASI to other certificate or training programs in sensory integration?
While we cannot evaluate or represent other programs, we are happy to describe ours. The CLASI program was developed by Zoe Mailloux, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA and Susanne Smith Roley, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA both of whom were students of Dr. A. Jean Ayres committed to following her tradition of excellence and research in practice. Course materials are derived from Ayres’ original publications and subsequent research in basic and applied science related to sensation and the impact on human function. In addition, CLASI instructors are lecturers with in-depth knowledge in the areas of ASI, representing first- and second-generation students of Dr. Ayres. The instructors have national and international experience in presentations of information on ASI and expertise in ASI research, education, and practice.
CLASI is also a founding member of the International Council for Education (ICEASI) in Ayres Sensory Integration®, an organization which aims to provide global standards for education and training in ASI.
If I’ve started my Sensory Integration Certification process with another organization, can I switch to CLASI?
Accepting hours of training completed from another organization to be applied toward the CLASI CASI will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Consideration of the completed training in regard to the ICEASI standards and the length of since the training was completed will be determine whether or not it is possible to apply credit from another program.
Are continuing education/professional development units provided through this program training?
Each module will provide 30 hours of training including the assignments, or a total of 180 for the program. CLASI is an approved provider of continuing education units (CEU) by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
How long do I have to complete the CLASI-CASI Program?
Once registered, online course content can be accessed for at least one year. It is our hope that these materials will be reviewed to support ongoing learning throughout the process. We recommend that participants complete the whole program, including the onsite modules and assignments within one year. Since life sometimes gets in the way of plans, the maximum amount of time allowed for completion of the program is 5 years.
Can I take the modules out of order?
We recommend taking the modules in order, but we realize there may be exceptions.
M1- The lessons in ASI theory can be completed over time and review of these lessons throughout the program is recommended. While it will be helpful to complete M1 prior to M2 & M3, it is not essential. However, it will be very difficult to fully synthesize the information in the lessons in M4 - M6 if M1 has not been completed.
M2 – The lessons in ASI assessment must be completed prior to M3 since this module provides essential information for administering and scoring a variety of assessment tools which will be only briefly reviewed and then practiced in M3.
M3 – This onsite ASI hands-on course assessment information must be completed prior to M4 because the tests which are learned and practiced will be needed to test and score children with valid and reliable results prior to interpreting those data.
M4 – ASI clinical reasoning is needed prior to M6 because you will need to do the problem identification portion of clinical reasoning prior to the problem solution which is your intervention.
M5 – ASI fidelity measure will be needed prior to completion of the whole certificate program because you will be asked to rate your and others’ intervention sessions.
M6 – ASI hands-on intervention is best completed when you have a firm foundation in theory, assessment, and principles of intervention ala fidelity.
Does the CLASI CASI include training in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT)?
Based on our work with Dr. Ayres, we believe that comprehensive assessment is a cornerstone to appropriate and effective intervention. The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) are currently the strongest tool available for assessing children who may have sensory integration problems underling their ability to participate fully in their daily lives. Therefore, the current CLASI CASI includes instruction and practice with the SIPT.
A new set of tests, the Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) are currently under development, with international normative data expected by the year 2020. The EASI is also introduced and practiced in the program and it is likely that many participants in the program will feel prepared and inspired to be normative data collectors for the EASI. In addition, other tests which assess aspects of sensory integration functions are also discussed.
Rather than provide a certification in any one set of tests, we strive to enhance an understanding of the core concepts of ASI, including the main areas that must be included in a comprehensive assessment.
Will I need a SIPT kit to participate in the CLASI CASI?
To receive the final certificate, learners will need to document assessments with 3 children who have suspected problems in sensory integration. The tests which are required will evolve as the new measures are available. While no specific test kit is required (necessary test kit materials will be made available at the onsite courses as needed), test manuals, test sheets and scoring are required to practice and complete the required cases. For therapists who do not have their own test sheets or scoring, materials can be purchased at a discount for use in learning the tests. through 2018, learners must bring or have access to the following:
Sensory Integration & Praxis Tests (available at www.wpspublish.com or when registering for Module 3)
- Test manual
- 5 SIPT booklets with scoring
- 5 Design Copying Forms
- 5 Kinesthesia Forms
- 5 Motor Accuracy Forms
Sensory Processing Measure (online or hard copy available at www.wpspublish.com or when registering for Module 3:
- 5 Home Forms -School Age
Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration (test forms and materials are open access-no fees involved)
In the CLASI CASI requirements, it states that participants will be provided the opportunity to update the CLASI-CASI every 5 years. What does it mean to renew the CLASI CASI Certificate every 5 years?
Ayres Sensory Integration is a dynamic frame of reference which grows and adapts as new knowledge develops. With ongoing discoveries in neuroscience and the development of new assessment tools, application of ASI requires ongoing study and continual updating.
To ensure that professionals who complete the CLASI Certificate in ASI feel confident that they have access to state-of-the-art knowledge, we are developing a means such as a short refresher course (approximately 10 contact hours) for updating the CLASI CASI through refresher modules. This will provide a vehicle for receiving updated information, ensure the integrity of the certificate, and help to update the directory of certified therapists.