Email Address

In the field below enter the email address where you received the invitation letter.

Set & Continue

Occupational Therapy: One of the oldest approaches that addresses sensory integration


Occupational Therapy


Evidence-Based research on Occupational Therapy:

  • Effectiveness of sensory integration interventions in children with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study. 1 (subscription needed)
    Some children with ASD may have sensory processing disorder (SPD), where they have difficulty regulating responses to external stimuli and sensations. They may use self-stimulation to compensate or choose to avoid overstimulation. According to this article, sensory integration (SI) treatment involves “meaningful therapeutic activities characterized by enhanced sensation, especially tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive, active participation, and adaptive interaction.” This article reports on a randomized controlled trial comparing an SI intervention to an intervention focused on fine motor skills. The study was designed as a pilot to establish a model for future research.

    In this pilot study, 37 children with ASD between the ages of 6 and 12 were randomized to either sensory integration or fine motor (FM) intervention during a summer activities program. All researchers and parents were blinded to group assignment. During each SI session, an occupational therapist “engineered the characteristics of the environment to create a just-right challenge” based on the child’s needs assessed during baseline evaluation. In contrast, the FM intervention included construction, drawing, writing, and crafts, all focusing on fine motor skills. At the end of the six week program, the SI group showed fewer autistic mannerisms and more improvement in attainment of goals as rated by teachers and parents. Those goals focused on sensory processing, motor skills, and social function.

1 Pfeiffer, B. A., Koenig, K., Kinnealey, M., Sheppard, M., & Henderson, L. (2011). Research Scholars Initiative—Effectiveness of sensory integration interventions in children with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 76–85. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.09205

Hide Comments