Efficacy of Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Sensory Integration Therapy in the Clinic and Home-Based Setting for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
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Research has shown that infants at high-risk for cognitive and motor developmental dysfunctions were those who were preterm or low birth weight. One common problem in high-risk infants is sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing disorder refers to when sensory signals are either not detected or do not get organized into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Children most likely to have sensory processing disorder also have autism, which has become more prevalent over the years. This paper will focus on the short-term and long-term effects of sensory integration therapy for children with autism in different therapeutic settings (i.e., clinic, home). It has been shown from previous literature that early diagnosis leading to early intervention, long-term therapy, and including family-centered care were keys to positive effects of treatment. Neither home nor clinical therapeutic setting was found to be more effective than the other. Research performed at the University of California in San Francisco was the first to demonstrate white matter microstructural pathology in children with sensory processing disorder and children with autism, relative to typically developing children. The proposed study was designed to address further directions of that study by examining the effectiveness of diffusion tensor imaging to detect abnormal white matter microstructure in children with sensory processing disorder and autism relative to neurotypical children over a longer period of time. These brain images can be used to show which occupational therapy techniques to be most effective and increase the ability to use diffusion tensor imaging as a tool for the diagnosis of sensory processing disorder.