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Research Article  |   July 2005
Effects of Sensory Integration Intervention on Self-Stimulating and Self-Injurious Behaviors
Author Affiliations
  • Sinclair A. Smith, ScD, is Director, Neuromuscular Function Laboratory, Department of Occupational Therapy, Temple University, 3307 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140; sinclair.smith@temple.edu
  • Bracha Press, MS, OTR/L, is Staff Occupational Therapist, Woods Services, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
  • Kristie P. Koenig, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Temple University, Department of Occupational Therapy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor and Chair, Temple University, Department of Occupational Therapy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Article Information
Sensory Integration and Processing / Occupational Patterns and Skills of Children
Research Article   |   July 2005
Effects of Sensory Integration Intervention on Self-Stimulating and Self-Injurious Behaviors
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2005, Vol. 59, 418-425. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.4.418
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2005, Vol. 59, 418-425. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.4.418
Abstract

This study compared the effects of occupational therapy, using a sensory integration (SI) approach and a control intervention of tabletop activities, on the frequency of self-stimulating behaviors in seven children 8–19 years of age with pervasive developmental delay and mental retardation. Daily 15-min videotape segments of the subjects were recorded before, immediately after, and 1 hour after either SI or control interventions performed during alternating weeks for 4 weeks. Each 15-min video segment was evaluated by investigators to determine the frequency of self-stimulating behaviors. The results indicate that self-stimulating behaviors were significantly reduced by 11% one hour after SI intervention in comparison with the tabletop activity intervention (p = 0.02). There was no change immediately following SI or tabletop interventions. Daily ratings of self-stimulating behavior frequency by classroom teachers using a 5-point scale correlated significantly with the frequency counts taken by the investigators (r = 0.32, p < 0.001). These results suggest that the sensory integration approach is effective in reducing self-stimulating behaviors, which interfere with the ability to participate in more functional activities.