Navigation Links
Autistic mannerisms reduced by sensory treatment

Parents of children with autism are increasingly turning to sensory integration treatment to help their children deal with the disorder, and theyre seeing good results. In 2007, 71 percent of parents who pursued alternatives to traditional treatment used sensory integration methods, and 91 percent found these methods helpful.

A new study from Temple University researchers, presented this month at the American Occupational Therapy Associations 2008 conference, found that children with autistic spectrum disorders who underwent sensory integration therapy exhibited fewer autistic mannerisms compared to children who received standard treatments. Such mannerisms, including repetitive hand movements or actions, making noises, jumping or having highly restricted interests, often interfere with paying attention and learning.

The children assigned to the sensory integration intervention group also reached more goals specified by their parents and therapists, said study authors Beth Pfeiffer, Ph.D., OTR/L, BCP, and Moya Kinnealey, Ph.D., OTR/L, from the Occupational Therapy Department in Temple Universitys College of Health Professions. The children made progress toward goals in the areas of sensory processing/regulation, social-emotional and functional motor tasks.

Sensory integration is the ability of the brain to properly integrate and adapt to the onslaught of information coming in through the senses. Dysfunction in this area makes it difficult for people with autism to adapt to and function like others in their environment. They may be hypersensitive to sound or touch, or unable to screen out distracting noise or clothing textures. Their response might be impulsive motor acts, making noises or running away.

Pfeiffer and Kinnealey are part of a group of researchers seeking to bring more scientific understanding to occupational therapy using a sensory integration approach.

Its been heavily documented that children on the autistic spectrum have differences in the way they process sensory information and respond motorically, Pfeiffer said. While more families are seeking out the sensory integration approach because of its positive results, more research is needed to scientifically establish its effectiveness.

Children receiving sensory integration therapy typically participate in sensory-based activities to enable them to better regulate their behavioral responses to sensations and situations that they find disturbing or painful. A child who is oversensitive to light touch may enjoy rolling and playing in a giant foam pillow, after which he might be more able to calmly explore, touch and play with other textures. This in turn makes self-care such as dressing and washing and classroom activities that require touch more manageable.

Interpreting the childs behavior as intentional and controllable and not recognizing the underlying cause and hypersensitivities is common in educational and home settings, but is an approach that Kinnealey discourages as stressful for the child.

The study took place this past summer at a camp near Allentown, Pa., for children with autism. Participants were between the ages of 6 and 12 years old and diagnosed with autism or Pervasive Developmental DisorderNot Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

One group (17) received traditional fine motor therapy and the other group (20) received sensory integration therapy. Each child received 18 treatment sessions over a period of six weeks.

A statistician randomly assigned the participants to groups; this information was provided to the project coordinator at the site. The primary researchers were blinded to group assignment and served as evaluators before and after the study.

Parents were also blinded to the interventions that their children were assigned to and were not on site. However, there was the potential for the verbal children to talk about the activities that they participated in, which may have influenced the blinding for the parents.

For their outcome data, researchers used a series of scales that measure behavior. While both groups showed significant improvements, the children in the sensory integration group showed more progress in specific areas at the end of the study.

This pilot study provided a foundation for how we should design randomized control trials for sensory integration interventions with larger sample sizes, Pfeiffer said. Specifically, it identified issues with measurement such as the sensitivity of evaluation tools to measure changes in this population.

Sensory integration treatment is a widely used intervention in occupational therapy. There is a real need for research such as randomized control trials to validate what we are doing with sensory integration in the profession, she added.


Contact: Eryn Jelesiewicz
Temple University

Related medicine news :

1. Muscle Weakness Found in Some Autistic Children
2. Prenatal exposure to maternal antibodies linked to autistic behaviors in offspring
3. Working with children with autistic spectrum disorder: Psychoanalysis and neurobiology
4. Autistic Children Have More Gray Matter in Brains
5. Novel imaging technique shows gray matter increase in brains of autistic children
6. Novel Imaging Technique Shows Gray Matter Increase in Brains of Autistic Children
7. Competing San Francisco Bay Area Hospitals Demonstrate That Collaborative Efforts Contribute to Reduced Hospital Errors and Saved Lives
8. Reduced Funds for Cancer is Cost of Iraq, Say Ex-White House Aide, Cancer Researchers
9. Study Showed Minimally Invasive Surgery Reduced Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections Compared to Open Surgery
10. Cavities in Children Reduced Over 60 Percent by New Experimental Chewable Mints
11. The Medical Home: Building a Framework of Higher Quality, Reduced Cost and Patient-Centric Care
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Finnleo, a leader in the traditional and far-infrared sauna industry, announced ... saunas. , For traditional saunas, Finnleo is offering 20% off all ... Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic White Spruce from sustainably grown trees. Because ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... TyloHelo Inc , North America’s largest ... accessories help improve the bather experience in the sauna, and the accessories selected ... purist looking for simplicity in design to accessories that encourage a greater expression ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, ... (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its earnings to MAP ... the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion of every purchase ... in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission is to “advance ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... center, is encouraging people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show ... people to post “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... ser potential att använda SyMRI för att ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller ... SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda SyMRI ... Med SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new ... Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... OAKS, Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen ... a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the ... (FDA) for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ... first adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and ... pathway. Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: