About the EASI INDC – United Kingdom

Parent Information Sheet – as submitted and agreed for UK Ethics in Scotland, Wales and England.

Title: The Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) – British Isles : International Normative Data Collection Project.(United Kingdom).

The purpose of this research, which is being done in countries across the globe, is to test children who are typically developing on tests that measure sensory and motor functions. Testing typically developing children will allow for comparison to children who are demonstrating problems in these areas.

We are a group of occupational, physio and speech and language therapists practicing in the United Kingdom. We are inviting you to take part in our research study. Before you decide if you would like to participate, we would like to give you some information explaining why this research is taking place.

As part of this International Normative Data Collection Project, we are recruiting typically developing children, ages 3 years to 12 years 11 months, who are representative of the population of the United Kingdom. The normative data collection project will help us to know how typically developing children register, process and integrate sensory information for use.

What is the purpose of the investigation?

This study will be collecting Normative Data on the Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) Test. The EASI Assessment is measuring key sensory integration functions which underlie learning, behaviour and participation. Sensory Integration is a term that therapists use to talk about how we take in and process sensory information, like touch or smell from the world around and use that information to help us to learn or move and do new things.

There is currently a significant lack of available tools for therapists to assess and diagnose sensory integration difficulties in childhood. By collecting normative data on typically developing children using the EASI, therapists will then be able to assess children with additional needs and identify their challenges.

The EASI will be an “open access” test meaning that there will be no cost to appropriately trained professionals. The EASI is a comprehensive assessment battery of sensory motor functions which are essential for the development of skills. The EASI Assessment consists of 20 tests that measure key sensory integration functions which underpin development, learning, behaviour and participation in activities of everyday life.

What we will ask your child to do

The tester will administer a total of 20 tasks to your child, most likely in a two part testing session. Each task takes about 3-10 minutes to complete so each testing session will probably last about one to one and half hours. This does not include any breaks. The tasks include asking your child to do things such as: finding hidden shapes in a photograph; copying designs; imitating positions or a series of actions; showing where your child felt a light touch applied to the arms or hands; balancing on one foot; stating whether they like or dislike some sounds, smells, touch to the face and responses to movement (being turned on a rotating board to observe a reflex of the eye) and building with some objects. 

Some of the test items may be easy for your child, while other items may be challenging.  If your child shows significant frustration or irritation during any of the tests, that test will be discontinued. If your child becomes distressed about the overall testing, then the entire testing session will be discontinued. 

Two short questionnaires will be used to screen children to make sure that they are suitable for the study. Children participating should have no known medical, educational, mental health, or other developmental concerns including:

  • sensory integration concerns identified by a sensory integration trained occupational therapist (OT), physical therapist (PT) or speech and language therapists (SLT).
  • diagnosis, assessment, referral or therapy services for any of the following, or similar conditions; specific learning difficulties, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, speech and language delays, emotion regulation difficulties/trauma, hypotonia or developmental coordination disorder, neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries  or significant cognitive deficits or diagnosed with a developmental delay or cognitive disability. This is because for this study we want to learn about typical development. 

Parents will not receive the data or feedback from therapists about their child’s participation in this study. Data collected will not be able to be used to identify any sensory or other related difficulties.

There will also be several caregiver questionnaires that you will be asked to complete, so we understand more about each child including about how easy some activities and routines are for you and your family eg. going to the shops or getting ready for school.

The study is strictly confidential. The data will be processed as part of the International Normative Data Collection (INDC) and will be merged with data from across the British Isles and across the globe. It is anticipated that the  results will be written up for academic and peer reviewed journal publication for supporting evidence.

Please be assured that all data will be kept completely confidential and no personal information such as your name or child’s name will be stored in the data sets on RedCap online or in any publications.

We will give you a participant number at the start of the study so that the data cannot not be identified back to any individual family or child. The local data entry teams will gather the raw anonymised data and enter the data onto a secure online platform called RedCap. The data we collect will be made anonymous by assigning a code to the scores and information recorded about each child. This data gathering tool will be used to gather the data as part of the Easi International Data Collection Project (EASI-INDC). All named information on the consent forms will be kept confidential in a separate secure location.

You can read more about it here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321711397_Introduction_to_the_Evaluation_in_Ayres_Sensory_Integration_R_EASI

Do you have to take part?

There is no obligation to take part, participation is completely voluntary, and you can withdraw until the data is uploaded to RedCap anonymously, after which it will be included within the global calibrations of typical performance, making it more difficult to identify and remove. You will not have to provide a reason why you wish to withdraw, and there are no consequences to you or your family if you withdraw.

Due to this we can’t withdraw your data after you complete testing because the data won’t be able to be linked back to you. As this is a normative data collection you will not receive feedback on how your child performed on the tasks.

You and your child will not benefit personally from taking part in this research, but other people may be helped by what is learned. You will receive no payment for taking part in this study.

Kath Smith

Regional Lead

EASI British Isles Team