Beit Issie Shapiro collaborates with Canada’s largest children rehabilitation hospital, Holland Bloorview, to provide innovative care through Multisensory Therapeutic Environments

Beit Issie Shapiro collaborates with Canada’s largest children rehabilitation hospital, Holland Bloorview, to provide innovative care through Multisensory Therapeutic Environments

The virtual training by Beit Issie Shapiro will run from November 2020 – January 2021 and will include synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Approximately 20 -25 Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team (BIRT) clinicians are expected to take part.  The project is a collaborative effort between Client and Family Integrated Care and the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team and sponsored by Diane Savage, VP Experience and Transformation.

Beit Issie Shapiro and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital have embarked on a collaborative project to provide tailored multisensory training to the hospital’s inpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team. An Israel-based organization, Beit Issie Shapiro is known internationally for its expertise in multisensory training, research and development, and has developed a unique methodology – Issie Senses – which transforms the multisensory environment into a therapeutic tool to dramatically enhance the wellbeing of children and adults with disabilities.  

With over 25 years of experience in multisensory environments, Beit Issie Shapiro is a pioneering leader in this field internationally – guiding the establishment of over 500 multisensory rooms across the globe; training over 3000 professionals; generating and publishing research on the Issie Senses approach in international academic journals; leading the treatment being applied to a wide range of disabilities; developing and researching its application to different rehabilitative environments; and integrating new technologies into the multisensory environment.

This collaboration is part of Holland Bloorview’s ongoing mandate to provide innovative care in the treatment protocols offered by clinicians. It is also an acknowledgement of the need to reflect the multidisciplinary teams that provide care to clients: the BIRT team includes therapists from the different professions including occupational therapist, physiotherapist, therapeutic recreation, psychology, respirologist, child life specialist, social work and nursing.

“We are excited to partner with Holland Bloorview. It is wonderful to join together with a like-minded organization committed to excellence in order to benefit its clients through innovative impactful solutions,” shares Beit Issie Shapiro’s Director of Global Professional Development, Ms. Sharon Yeheskel-Oron “We are hopeful that with Beit Issie Shapiro and Holland Bloorview’s complimentary expertise, Issie Senses will expand to become a therapeutic tool that helps clients grappling with brain injuries participate in their lives to the best of their ability.”

“It is our hope that the partnership with Beit Issie will help us chart a staff snoezelen multi-sensory training module which will encompass the collaborative practice of our hospital and support the many clinicians who recognize the potential of the intervention.”  noted Lorraine Thomas, Snoezelen Coordinator at Holland Bloorview.

Janet Bernstein, OT and co-organizer of the training series adds: “This is an exciting opportunity for the members of the multi-disciplinary team making up the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team (BIRT) at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.   We look forward to    understanding and learning about Beit Issie’s approach to using  Multi-Sensory (Snoezelen)  Rooms as a part of their therapeutic intervention. It is anticipated that Holland Bloorview’s participation in this exciting project will  encourage BIRT team members to  use Multi-Sensory rooms  in  assisting  clients with Acquired Brain Injuries  while working towards and ultimately achieving both team and  discipline specific treatment goals.”

According to the clinicians who access the hospital’s inpatient and community multisensory rooms, treatment in the room can provide a range of benefits including the opportunity to promote family/parent engagement; socialization opportunities for caregivers and clients in a group setting; a stage for clinicians to introduce assistive technology and build on new and existing client skills;  and provide clients with an opportunity to become more comfortable participating in therapy goals.

Lorraine Thomas, the hospital’s multisensory coordinator and Janet Bernstein, occupational therapist on the BIRT unit, anticipate that the tailored training will help clinicians become more knowledgeable about the potential and appropriateness of utilizing the multisensory environment as an application with clients, as well leading to the establishment of best practices in-house for the multisensory environment as a therapeutic intervention within the professional disciplines.

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