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Research Article  |   May 2008
Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Problem Behaviors and Sensory Processing
Author Affiliations
  • Laureen Franklin, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Anacortes Children’s Therapy, Inc., Anacortes, WA. At the time of this study, she was Graduate Student, Master of Science Program, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle; franklinlr@gmail.com
  • Jean Deitz, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Tracy Jirikowic, PhD, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Washington State Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network (FAS DPN), and Clinical Instructor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Susan Astley, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Washington State Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network (FAS DPN), the University of Washington, Seattle
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   May 2008
Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Problem Behaviors and Sensory Processing
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2008, Vol. 62, 265-273. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.3.265
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2008, Vol. 62, 265-273. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.3.265
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study describes the sensory-processing and behavior profiles of a clinic-referred sample of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and examines the relationship between sensory processing and behavior.

METHODS. Outcomes on the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for 44 children, ages 5 to 10 years, were assessed and compared using retrospective data analysis.

RESULTS. A high proportion of the children demonstrated deficits in sensory processing and problem behaviors as measured by the SSP and the CBCL. Moreover, the correlation between the SSP and CBCL total scores (r = −.72) was significant.

CONCLUSION. Results provide evidence that children with FASD demonstrate problem behaviors and sensory-processing impairments as reported by parents and that sensory-processing deficits co-occur with problem behaviors at a high rate in this population. This finding suggests that deficits in sensory processing may affect the ability of children with FASD to respond adaptively to their environments.