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Research Article  |   September 2007
Immediate Effect of Ayres’s Sensory Integration–Based Occupational Therapy Intervention on Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Author Affiliations
  • Renee L. Watling, PhD, OTR/L, is Adjunct Faculty, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle. Mailing address: 30355 121st Place SE, Auburn, WA 98092; rwatling@u.washington.edu
  • Jean Deitz, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2007
Immediate Effect of Ayres’s Sensory Integration–Based Occupational Therapy Intervention on Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2007, Vol. 61, 574-583. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.5.574
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2007, Vol. 61, 574-583. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.5.574
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study examined the effects of Ayres’s sensory integration intervention on the behavior and task engagement of young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Clinical observations and caregiver reports of behavior and engagement also were explored to help guide future investigations.

METHOD. This single-subject study used an ABAB design to compare the immediate effect of Ayres’s sensory integration and a play scenario on the undesired behavior and task engagement of 4 children with ASD.

RESULTS. No clear patterns of change in undesired behavior or task management emerged through objective measurement. Subjective data suggested that each child exhibited positive changes during and after intervention.

CONCLUSION. When effects are measured immediately after intervention, short-term Ayres’s sensory integration does not have a substantially different effect than a play scenario on undesired behavior or engagement of young children with ASD. However, subjective data suggest that Ayres’s sensory integration may produce an effect that is evident during treatment sessions and in home environments.