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There is insufficient evidence (level 4) to support or refute sensory integration as an intervention to increase functional play behaviours and decrease non-engaged behaviours in pre-school children with autism

Prepared by:

Melissa de Rooy (derooy131@hotkey.net.au)
4th year undergraduate occupational therapy student,
University of Western Sydney

Date:

May 2004

Review Date:

May 2006

Clinical Question:

What is the evidence that sensory integration therapy elicits behavioural changes in children with autism (or autism spectrum disorder) compared to other/no therapy?

Clinical Scenario:

Sensory integration activities, involving suspended swings, trampolines, a variety of textured mediums and other equipment, are commonly used in paediatric practice with children with autism (or autism spectrum disorder). How effective is such a treatment approach in changing the behaviour of children with autism?

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is currently insufficient evidence to support or refute sensory integration as an intervention to increase functional play behaviours and decrease non-engaged behaviours in pre-school children with autism. Current studies are of low level methodologies. More rigorous studies are required to support the use of sensory integration to elicit behavioural changes in children with autism.

Full Document:

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