An intervention for sensory difficulties in children with autism: A randomized trial

Roseann C. Schaaf, Teal Benevides, Zoe Mailloux, Patricia Faller, Joanne Hunt, Elke Van Hooydonk, Regina Freeman, Benjamin Leiby, Jocelyn Sendecki, Donna Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1493-1506
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Intervention
  • Sensory functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Schaaf, R. C., Benevides, T., Mailloux, Z., Faller, P., Hunt, J., Van Hooydonk, E., Freeman, R., Leiby, B., Sendecki, J., & Kelly, D. (2014). An intervention for sensory difficulties in children with autism: A randomized trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(7), 1493-1506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1983-8