Occupational Therapy: Sensory Processing Differences in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evidence and Clinical Imp

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About the Author

Lauren M. Little, PhD, OTR/L, has a clinical background in occupational therapy and a PhD in occupational science. Dr. Little’s clinical experience and program of research is focused on families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She has taught interdisciplinary courses related to behavioral interventions for children with ASD as well as pediatric practice and research courses in occupational therapy. Dr. Little has a number of publications about sensory processing measurement and intervention for children with ASD and other developmental conditions, and her work was awarded the Cordelia Myers American Journal of Occupational Therapy Best Article award in 2015. 

Peer reviewer: 
Jeanne Zobel-Lachiusa, PhD, is a full-time faculty member of Bay Path University’s graduate program in occupational therapy (OT). She has years of experience in OT clinical practice including advanced training in sensory integration theory and practice at the Ayres Clinic in Torrance, California, and interdisciplinary training at the University Affiliated Program of Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. Dr. Zobel-Lachiusa’s research interests include children with autism spectrum disorder and sensory integration. She has published results of her research and
presented locally and nationally. Dr. Zobel-Lachiusa has been an active member of local boards involving children and families for many years and currently sits on the board of directors for a local agency providing services and resources to families and individuals with autism. She holds OT licenses from Massachusetts and Connecticut and is a member in good standing of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Occupational Therapy Planner: Jessica J. Bolduc, DrOT, MSOTR/L

The contributors to this course have no conflicts of interest relative to its content.

Learning Objectives
  • Name the sensory processing patterns and prevalence of sensory processing differences among individuals with ASD.
  • Examine how sensory processing may relate to core features of ASD and impact participation in everyday activities in those with ASD.
  • Describe the assessment tools available to practitioners to measure sensory processing in ASD.
  • Evaluate the evidence related to various sensory-focused interventions, including sensory integration and comprehensive intervention approaches that incorporate sensory processing knowledge.

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