The Evaluation Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) is a new assessment tool being developed to use to evaluate Sensory Integration difficulties and dysfunctions. 

5 December 2019

 

Statement on the incorporation of the EASI into SAISI’s training

 

What is the EASI?

The Evaluation Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) is a new assessment tool being developed to use to evaluate Sensory Integration difficulties and dysfunctions.  The EASI International Normative Data Collection process has commenced. South African normative data collection is in process and will be concluded by the end of the first term in 2020. The EASI will be launched in July 2020 at the Ayres 2020 congress in Los Angeles.

 

Why use the EASI?

The advantage of the EASI will be its standardisation, which will include an international representative sample, thus appropriate for use in a developing country such as South Africa. The test was also developed with costs in mind and will not only be affordable in SA but there will be no additional costs involved in the scoring of the tests.

How and when will SAISI introduce the EASI?

For now, the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) remains the assessment tool of choice. It will still be used as the primary assessment tool in the SASIC courses until data collection on the EASI is complete and we have norms for the EASI. Studies on the identification of patterns of SI dysfunctions as related to the EASI still need to be done and will take time to collect. SAISI will start to introduce the EASI in the SASIC1-4 courses in 2020, through exposing participants to tests in the EASI that measure similar constructs to that of the SIPT. Formal training in the administration of the EASI will not form part of the current SASIC courses in 2020. However, the sensory integration constructs measured by the SIPT, as well as the interpretation process followed on the SASIC1-4 courses, will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to convert seamlessly to the EASI. We therefore encourage occupational therapists who want to start their sensory integration training through SAISI to do so as soon as possible.

How will the conversion process to the EASI work?

Occupational therapists who are already trained in the administration and interpretation of the SIPT will be able to go through a conversion process in order to administer and interpret the EASI. We foresee that conversion training will commence from 2021. SAISI is in negotiations with the Collaborative for Leadership in Sensory Integration (CLASI), to incorporate their online training module in the administration of the EASI as the core of the conversion process.

After completion of the online administration training, participants will be required to test one typically developing child, and two children with suspected sensory integration difficulties, in order to demonstrate competence in the administration of the EASI. Furthermore, data on the performance of South African children on the EASI will contribute to our understanding of the South African population in relation to international norms. After completion of the online training and testing of cases, a certificate of competence in the administration of the EASI will be issued by SAISI.

What will be the cost of the conversion process?

The cost of conversion will be kept to a minimum. We are negotiating the costs of the online training with CLASI in order to offer conversion training to therapists who have already done their training through SAISI at the lowest possible rate. The conversion training will occur online; therefore, no travel and accommodation costs will be involved in the conversion process for participants.

Furthermore, administration and scoring of the EASI itself will be much more affordable, due to:

  • No costs involved in scoring of the test
  • Test materials can be compiled by therapists themselves
  • Test sheets are downloadable free of charge to trained users and can either be printed or scored on a mobile device

These factors will all contribute to make the conversion training as accessible and affordable as possible.

Conclusion:

We are excited about the EASI and the extent to which it will make assessment of sensory integration accessible to more children. SAISI feels honoured to be actively involved in the process of standardising the first test in occupational therapy with international norms.

 

For more information please contact the SAISI office