Free
Research Article  |   September 2002
Sensory Processing Correlates of Occupational Performance in Children With Fragile X Syndrome: Preliminary Findings
Author Affiliations
  • Grace T. Baranek, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Science, Department of Allied Health Sciences, CB7120, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7120; gbaranek@med.unc.edu
  • Yuki H. Chin, MS, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, Greater Anaheim SELPA, Anaheim, California
  • Laura M. Greiss Hess, MS, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Stockton, California
  • Jann G. Yankee, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Deborah D. Hatton, PhD, is Research Investigator, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Stephen R. Hooper, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology Section Head, Center for Development and Learning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Article Information
Intellectual Disabilities / Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Occupational Therapy and Children
Research Article   |   September 2002
Sensory Processing Correlates of Occupational Performance in Children With Fragile X Syndrome: Preliminary Findings
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2002, Vol. 56, 538-546. doi:10.5014/ajot.56.5.538
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2002, Vol. 56, 538-546. doi:10.5014/ajot.56.5.538
Abstract

OBJECTIVES. This preliminary study examined sensory processing and its relationship to occupational performance in children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) to guide research and evidence-based practice.

METHOD. Fifteen school-aged boys with full-mutation FXS were assessed with three occupational performance measures (School Function Assessment, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, play duration) and three sensory processing measures (Sensory Profile, Tactile Defensiveness and Discrimination Test–Revised, Sensory Approach–Avoidance Rating). Data were analyzed using partial correlation procedures.

RESULTS. Several significant correlations were found, independent of effects of age and IQ. Avoidance of sensory experiences (internally controlled) was associated with lower levels of school participation, self-care, and play. Aversion to touch from externally controlled sources was associated with a trend toward greater independence in self-care—opposite of expectations.

CONCLUSION. This study links sensory processing vulnerabilities with individual differences in occupational performance and supports a dynamic view of self-organizing systems. Children’s uses of avoidant versus independent behaviors may reflect different self-regulatory or coping strategies that potentially mediate the relationship between sensory processing deficits and occupational behaviors and warrant further investigation.