Occupational therapy aids kids with autism, sensory issues
Occupational therapy focused on sensory integration strategies helps children with autism spectrum disorder and sensory issues improve their ability to perform everyday tasks, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Roseann C. Schaaf, Ph.D., O.T.R./L., from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomized children with autism (aged 4 to 8 years) to either a manualized intervention (30 sessions of the occupational therapy; 17 patients) or usual care (control group; 15 patients).
The researchers found that the children in the intervention group scored significantly higher (P = 0.003) on the primary outcome of Goal Attainment Scales. Additionally, the intervention group scored significantly better on measures of caregiver assistance in self-care (P = 0.008) and socialization (P = 0.04), compared to the control group.
"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," the authors write.
Journal reference: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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