In October 2015 managing director of Future Steps, Julie Davis, travelled to the STAR Centre in Denver, USA, to attend a mentorship programme delivered by world famous Dr Lucy Miller, the current lead researcher into Sensory Processing Disorder. Julie documented her time in Denver with Dr Lucy Miller, see below for her daily updates during the mentorship programme. The following year, June 2016, Julie completed The Level 2 Intensive Mentorship: Hands-On Advanced Treatment’ at the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, keep reading to find out more!
STAR CentreJulie Davis: Day One Training with Dr Lucy Miller at the STAR Centre, Denver, Colorado
Well, my first day has been amazing. Not only as a knowledge and learning experience but also getting the chance to watch Lucy Miller in action in a treatment centre! How lucky were we today?
As therapists we never stop learning which is wonderful. All of our work and development is devoted to wanting to change the life of a child and family. As I end my first day here in Denver, I can see that what I am going to take away from this experience will most certainly support me in furthering the positive changes made by Future Steps Consultancy.
Dr Lucy Miller
But what is especially refreshing for me, was to hear that our intensive approach model at Future Steps is the one Dr Lucy Miller advocates! Not only that, but Dr Lucy Miller also fully supports the idea of the education of family members and professionals, which is a vital part of Future Steps services. It is wonderful to learn that our practice is reflecting what the leading experts on SPD say is good practice.
I have so many new ideas to make our treatment and assessment facility even better after just one day. I am excited to see how all of this will benefit our clients.
Julie Davis: Day Two Sensory Processing Disorder Training with Dr Lucy Miller at the STAR Centre
Another amazing day. I can’t believe how fantastic the STAR centre facility is and also I am in constant awe of Dr Lucy Miller and her research into Sensory Processing Disorder.
Sensory Processing Disorder Training
Today, on the mentorship programme, we were able to gain an insight into all the research that has been completed on Sensory Processing Disorder. The research we saw confirmed that Sensory Processing Disorder co-exists with ASD and ADHD, the research also provided substantive clinical data to validate this proposal.
As part of the programme, we then went on to look at assessments and research behind the treatment in the STAR Centre, and also into tools that Future Steps could be using with our clients back in the UK.
Having found time in our busy (but fantastic) day, Dr Lucy Miller and I chatted about my own consultancy, Future Steps. Lucy is extremely interested in what the Future Steps occupational therapists are doing in schools and would even like to meet with me this week in order to share thoughts around research. (I can’t wait!)
This draws the end to another fascinating day at the world famous STAR Centre – I am so excited for tomorrow! I’ll be sending updates daily, so watch this space for more information on the mentorship programme.
Julie Davis: Day Three, The Word of Occupational Therapy
Well, today has been another wonderful day with amazing occupational therapists from all around the world. I feel, now more than ever, that the world of occupational therapy is just amazing, both as a professional and also as a treatment method for so many difficulties. When on a mentorship programme at the STAR Centre and learning from the world’s best, Dr. Lucy Miller, you can’t help but want to make a positive difference to lives children and families back home in the UK.
Occupational Therapist Julie Davis
As I mentioned (very excitedly) in yesterday’s post, Dr. Lucy Miller has shown a real interest in the work we do at Future Steps Occupational Therapy Consultancy, both in schools and in our clinic, and wished to meet and discuss this. Tomorrow, is that day. I have been presented a once in a lifetime opportunity – to have a one to one session with Lucy Miller. Lucy has agreed to see the Future Steps SMART and EARTH school manuals, our screening tools and has also agreed to help understand the steps we could and need to consider as we move forward with this research in the UK.
The changes to the Future Steps occupational therapy service delivery will commence as soon as I return. We will, with the assistance of the STAR model, achieve in the providing of the best occupational therapy practice to children, young people, adults and families with SPD, Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia and DCD.
Day Four: Future Steps will be even better when I return!
Well this is my last night Denver and all I can say is what a brilliant day. Firstly, I met with Dr Lucy Miller, who, despite all that she has achieved and her incredible reputation, is the most humble person you could ever wish to meet.
Future Steps Managing Director with Dr Lucy MillerLucy appeared to be very interested in what Future Steps is doing and she was so helpful with regards to Future Steps plans for research. Lucy is even considering looking at the model and maybe introducing it into one of her schools!!
Today I have signed up to return for my level two in June 2016. Dr Lucy Miller has suggested that if I was able arrive a day in advance then we can spend a day together discussing research prior Future Steps MDto the mentorship programme.
The whole week has been incredible so far. I have been lucky enough to meet some really amazing occupational therapists during my time here. Within the group of therapists that I have met is an OT from Whole Child Therapy, with whom Future Steps will soon begin a collaboration with, into Integrated Listening Skills!
STAR Centre Day One: Julie Davis arrives…again!
STAR Day One
First day over and what a day!!
Intensive treatment and mentorship and the STAR Centre is exactly what it claims to be. Reflective practice with critical analyse of what we do, in order to create effective changes in children.
I have spent the day with therapists from Canada, Texas and Dallas, and I am currently being mentored by Lisa Portor and Michele Parkins.
The day allowed us to reflect and video sessions and analysis of effective methods of treatment with complex children. This child centred approach, and STAR model, of allows specific ways to record, with GAS and functional goals that are achievable over the course of the week and with outcome measures that can be achieved. Looking at effective practice throughout.
After all my years in paediatrics and all the treatments I have undertaken, there always needs to be a time for reflection, change and ensuring your practice is affective for the child and family; ensuring goals are achievable for the child and family, something I pride Future Steps being able to achieve. This training will only ensure that our practice reflects the best for children and families just like the STAR centre approach.
As an OT I have spent years treating and assessing children and have attended a huge amount of course’s to expand my knowledge and practice. However this intensive course is like no other I have experienced. Working with amazing mentors that just want you to develop and take a step away from the cognitive OT brain that we use so much. Mentorship 2 wants me to consider the magic moments, the moments when the child owns their own body and can understand what that feels like. Future Steps engages parents/careers and educational staff but at times we can all forget to engage ourselves and become 4 again, or 7. It is so important to understand the child and their world; understanding their levels of social and emotional development and levels of anxiety and understanding the important and using another language/approach to do so. I had my 1st reflective session with Lucy Miller a truly amazing experience.
Onto day 3 wish me luck.
Day 5 (Final Day)
Well on day 1 I never thought I would be able to embody this approach but thanks to the amazing educators at the STAR Institute I have been able to master this.
I have my certificate and plan to complete their accredited program which is due to start very soon. I have been fortunate to complete so much training a few to name are SI, SAI attachment training and just right state, astro, listening programme, ocular motor, all of Sidney Chu course, Gretchen Reeves, SCERTS and Lucy Miller advance Mentorship level 1 & 2. This weeks training has been like no other and I feel so fortunate to of had this opportunity, which could not of occurred without me creating Future Steps. I am so grateful to be part of a profession that changes the lives of children and families. I am proud of our integrated approach at Future Steps that allows us to help children with sensory, motor, emotional and psychological needs of the child and family. This allows us to embody change which is long lasting and changes the future path for children in all settings. This training has change my practice and I will ensure Future Steps embodies everything the STAR Centre has taught me. A life changing experience, one that will allow me to create a better service provision for children.