Research Article  |   February 2019
Early Identification of Sensory Processing Difficulties in High-Risk Infants
Author Affiliations
  • Joanne E. Flanagan, ScD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; joflanag@utmb.edu
  • Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR/L, is Director of Research, Sensory Therapies and Research (STAR) Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, Greenwood Village, CO, and Associate Professor, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, UT.
  • Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR/L, is Founder, Sensory Therapies and Research (STAR) Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, Greenwood Village, CO.
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 2019
Early Identification of Sensory Processing Difficulties in High-Risk Infants
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2019, Vol. 73, 7302205130p1-7302205130p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.028449
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2019, Vol. 73, 7302205130p1-7302205130p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.028449
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to determine the extent to which young children at high risk for sensory processing difficulties differed from those who were at low risk.

METHOD. We compared high- versus low-risk young children using standardized measures. High-risk participants had older siblings identified as having sensory processing difficulties after a comprehensive occupational therapy evaluation (n = 13); low-risk participants (n = 16) had typically developing siblings and no family history of sensory or other neurological disorders.

RESULTS. High-risk infants scored significantly lower on the Language and Cognitive scales of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development–Third Edition. The high-risk group presented with more atypical positions on the Toddler and Infant Motor Evaluation and fewer sensation-seeking behaviors on the Toddler Sensory Profile–2.

CONCLUSION. Results suggest that sensory, motor, cognitive, and language dimensions may be associated with sensory processing difficulties. Implications exist for the design of future studies and for early intervention.