SI World & Sensory Integration
Sensory Integration Training Program in Seri Mengasih Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Seri Mengasih Centre, established in 1981 is a special developmental day centre for persons with special learning needs including those with an intellectual disability, autistic spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy, ranging in age from 4 yrs old to young working adults. Our goal is to train these school students and vocational trainees towards socio-economic independence so eventually, instead of being society’s burdens; they will have fulfilling lives as productive members of our community. In order to achieve our goal, we have constantly sought to improve and upgrade our services and training programs to help in the further development of our children.
Hence, being convinced of the benefits of the Sensory Integration training program for persons with special learning needs, the Centre had its Sensory Integration Unit set up in late 2008 by Mr. Wong Shyh Shyan, SI consultant of SI World.
Before the commencement of the program, Mr. Wong conducted initial assessments for our children and individual programs were drawn up for each one. The students’ training began in February 2009; conducted by 3 of Seri Mengasih’s staff who had already undergone in-service training (both theoretical and practical) under Mr. Wong.
Our children on the program present a wide range of problems; including those who are hyperactive, have poor focus and attention, are not alert to surroundings, have little or unclear speech, have difficulty with sleeping, have poor gross and fine motor coordination, under-reactive to touch and so on. Every one of these children has their own individual programs drawn up Mr. Wong; each program lasting 90 minutes per training session.
After several months into the program, the SI Unit staff received positive feedback from class teachers and parents of the obvious improvement observed. Significant to mention is a teenager with down syndrome who has poor balance and very little speech. He is now able to better balance himself even while walking on an incline plane and his verbal expression has increased. Another with autism who initially refused to be touched can now be held without resisting. A young girl who has been mostly quiet started to speak a lot more and expresses her thoughts and feelings quite well. These are amongst many other encouraging reports as a result of the SI program started in our centre.
Seri Mengasih SI Unit started off with 46 children on the program. A year later today, an additional 20 have been included, thanks to the apparent benefits of Sensory Integration as a crucial foundation for more complex learning and behaviour of these children.