Effectiveness of sensory processing strategies on activity level in inclusive preschool classrooms

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2012;8:475-81. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S37146. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of sensory processing strategies in improving the activity level of children with sensory integration dysfunction.

Methods: The study used a matching-only pretest-posttest control group design, which requires random matching of sensory integration dysfunction to the corresponding intervention group (n = 18) and control group (n = 18). The intervention group comprised 3-6-year-old children who received an 8-week school-day intervention during implementation of the theme curriculum.

Results: The 8-week treatment significantly reduced the activity level and foot-swinging episodes in children with sensory integration dysfunction, and obtained a medium-effect size. However, the level of improvement in the control group did not show any statistically significant change.

Conclusion: Sensory processing strategies could improve activity levels in children with sensory integration dysfunction. However, this study was unable to exclude a developmental effect. The social validity results show that sensory processing strategies can be integrated into the theme curriculum and improve activity levels in children.

Keywords: activity level; preschool inclusive classroom; sensory integration dysfunction; sensory processing strategy.