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Sensory-Based Approaches in Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Influences on Occupational Therapists’ Recommendations and Perceived Benefits.

Am J Occup Ther. 2018 May/Jun;72(3):7203205020p1-7203205020p8

Authors: Thompson-Hodgetts S, Magill-Evans J

OBJECTIVE: We investigated factors that influenced occupational therapists’ beliefs about and use of sensory-based approaches for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
METHOD: Occupational therapists working with children with ASD (N = 211 from 16 countries) completed an online survey addressing their work experience, training, use of sensory-based approaches, and beliefs and perceptions about the effects of the approaches. Linear regression was used to determine predictors of use of and beliefs about sensory-based approaches.
RESULTS: Most respondents (98%) used sensory-based approaches for children with ASD and would recommend the approaches for 57% of the children they treated. Having a mentor who promoted sensory-based approaches and practicing outside North America and Australia predicted greater use and perceived effectiveness of these approaches. Less than 5 yr of occupational therapy experience predicted less use of the approaches.
CONCLUSION: Respondents selectively used sensory-based approaches for children with ASD and were influenced by country of residence, clinical experience, and mentorship.

PMID: 29689171 [PubMed – in process]

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