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Research Article  |   May 2004
Prevalence of Parents’ Perceptions of Sensory Processing Disorders Among Kindergarten Children
Author Affiliations
  • Roianne R. Ahn, PhD, is Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological Health and Psychiatry, University of Colorado Wardenburg Health Center, Boulder, Colorado
  • Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado. Correspondence: KID Foundation, 1901 West Littleton Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80120; lucymiller@frii.com
  • Sharon Milberger, ScD, is Associate Director, Research, Developmental Disabilities Institute–Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
  • Daniel N. McIntosh, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
Article Information
School-Based Practice / Sensory Integration and Processing / Sensory Processing Among Young Children
Research Article   |   May 2004
Prevalence of Parents’ Perceptions of Sensory Processing Disorders Among Kindergarten Children
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2004, Vol. 58, 287-293. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.3.287
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2004, Vol. 58, 287-293. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.3.287
Abstract

This study is the first to systematically examine estimated rates of sensory processing disorders using survey data. Parents of incoming kindergartners from one suburban U.S. public school district were surveyed using the Short Sensory Profile, a parent-report screening tool that evaluates parents’ perceptions of functional correlates of sensory processing disorders (McIntosh, Miller, Shyu, & Dunn, 1999a). A total of 703 completed surveys were returned, which represents 39% of the kindergarten enrollment (n = 1,796) in the district for the 1999–2000 school year. Of the 703 children represented by the surveys, 96 children (13.7% of 703) met criteria for sensory processing disorders based upon parental perceptions. A more conservative prevalence estimate of children having sensory processing disorders based on parental perceptions was calculated by assuming that all non-respondents failed to meet screening criteria. This cautious estimate suggests that based on parents’ perceptions, 5.3% (96 of 1796) of the kindergarten enrollment met screening criteria for sensory processing disorders. These percentages are consistent with hypothesized estimates published in the literature. Findings suggest a need for rigorous epidemiological studies of sensory processing disorders.