Efficacy of sensory and motor interventions for children with autism

J Autism Dev Disord. 2002 Oct;32(5):397-422. doi: 10.1023/a:1020541906063.


Idiosyncratic responses to sensory stimuli and unusual motor patterns have been reported clinically in young children with autism. The etiology of these behavioral features is the subject of much speculation. Myriad sensory- and motor-based interventions have evolved for use with children with autism to address such issues; however, much controversy exists about the efficacy of such therapies. This review paper summarizes the sensory and motor difficulties often manifested in autism, and evaluates the scientific basis of various sensory and motor interventions used with this population. Implications for education and further research are described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Early Intervention, Educational*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychomotor Disorders / psychology
  • Psychomotor Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome