Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Developmental Stability of Sensory Seeking
Author Affiliations
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
    Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Article Information
Assessment Development and Testing / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Assessment/Measurement
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Developmental Stability of Sensory Seeking
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911500096. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO4051
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911500096. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO4051
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

In this session, we present the findings of a study in which we investigated the developmental stability of the seeking-sensory pattern though age groups and across clinical diagnostic groups. Implications for assessment and intervention planning of occupational therapy practitioners are discussed.

SIGNIFICANCE: Recognizing the sensory pattern preferences of an individual in context is fundamental to performing accurate assessment and to developing an intervention to facilitate participation. In this study, we provide clarity to the seeking pattern across age and diagnostic groups.
INNOVATION: In this study, we focus on the seeking pattern of sensory processing across age and diagnostic groups. Findings are innovative, as we are the first to report such findings for the Sensory Profile 2.
APPROACH: We attempted to answer the following research questions: What impact does age have on the seeking-sensory pattern presentation? How is the seeking-sensory pattern expressed across diagnostic groups?
Understanding individual sensory preferences of children in contexts assists occupational therapists in developing and implementing targeted interventions. Research is needed to validate and characterize sensory patterns as a child characteristic affecting activity engagement and participation.
METHOD: Participants included 697 typically developing children, aged 6 to 11 yr. This sample was used to find an age-matched sample of children with developmental disabilities for comparison (autism, n = 77; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], n = 78; autism + ADHD, n = 24) from the Sensory Profile 2 standardization study.
A cross-sectional analysis specific to the seeking-sensory processing was conducted. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to investigate differences by age and levels of sensory seeking between clinical and typical groups. The Sensory Profile 2 is an 86-item, parent-report measure of a child’s sensory processing. The Sensory Profile 2 was normed on a national sample (n = 697) and demonstrates strong psychometric properties.
RESULTS: Findings reveal that the level of sensory seeking decreased in both typical and clinical groups as they aged, F(8, 230) = 3.81, p = .024. Additionally, differences in the level of seeking were noted within the clinical groups, F(2, 230) = 17.52, p = .000.
CONCLUSION:The level of sensory seeking decreased in a sample of children who were typically developing as well as an age-matched sample of children with developmental disabilities. Further, the level of seeking was variable in the clinical groups. These findings have relevance to occupational therapy practitioners assessing the variable presentation of individuals with developmental disabilities. Understanding these differences in seeking will have implications for the development of interventions aimed at increasing children’s active engagement required for participation in occupations.