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Autistic mannerisms reduced by sensory treatment
Date:4/25/2008

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 t
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Contact: Eryn Jelesiewicz
dobeck@temple.edu
215-707-0730
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

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