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Am J Occup Ther. 2004 May-Jun;58(3):294-302.

Responses of preschool children with and without ADHD to sensory events in daily life.

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School of Occupational Therapy, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, PO Box 24026, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.



The purpose of this study was to compare parents' perceptions of the responses of their preschool children, with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to sensory events in daily life in Israel. In addition, the relationship between levels of hyperactivity and sensory deficits was examined.


The Sensory Profile Questionnaire (SP) was completed by mothers of forty-eight 4- to 6-year-old children with ADHD, and mothers of 46 children without disabilities. A matched group comparison design was used to identify possible differences in sensory processing.


Based on the measure of mothers' perceptions, children with ADHD demonstrated statistically significant differences from children without ADHD in their sensory responsiveness as reflected in 6 out of 9 factor scores (p < .001-.05), and on their sensory processing, modulation, and behavioral and emotional responses, as reflected in 11 out of 14 section scores (p < .001-.05). Scores on the SP yielded statistically significant low to moderate correlations with scores on the hyperactive scale of the Preschool Behavior Questionnaire (r = .28-.66).


The findings of the present study suggest that young children with ADHD may be at increased risk of deficits in various sensory processing abilities, over and above the core symptoms of ADHD. Early identification and treatment of sensory processing deficits from a young age may extend our ability to support the successful performance of children with ADHD in meaningful and productive occupations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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