This study evaluated a manualized intervention for sensory difficulties for children with autism, ages 4-8 years, using a randomized trial design. Diagnosis of autism was confirmed using gold standard measures. Results show that the children in the treatment group (n = 17) who received 30 sessions of the occupational therapy intervention scored significantly higher (p = 0.003, d = 1.2) on Goal Attainment Scales (primary outcome), and also scored significantly better on measures of caregiver assistance in self-care (p = 0.008 d = 0.9) and socialization (p = 0.04, d = 0.7) than the Usual Care control group (n = 15). The study shows high rigor in its measurement of treatment fidelity and use of a manualized protocol, and provides support for the use of this intervention for children with autism. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for practice and future research.
Recommended CitationSchaaf, Roseann C; Benevides, Teal W.; Mailloux, Zoe; Faller, Patricia; Hunt, Joanne; van Hooydonk, Elke; Freeman, Regina; Leiby, Benjamin E; Sendecki, Jocelyn; and Kelly, Donna, "An Intervention for Sensory Difficulties in Children with Autism: A Randomized Trial." (2013). Department of Occupational Therapy Faculty Papers. Paper 15.