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J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Jul;44(7):1493-506. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1983-8.

An intervention for sensory difficulties in children with autism: a randomized trial.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of the Farber Institute of Neuroscience, Thomas Jefferson University, 901 Walnut Street, Suite 605, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA,


This study evaluated a manualized intervention for sensory difficulties for children with autism, ages 4-8 years, using a randomized trial design. Diagnosis of autism was confirmed using gold standard measures. Results show that the children in the treatment group (n = 17) who received 30 sessions of the occupational therapy intervention scored significantly higher (p = 0.003, d = 1.2) on Goal Attainment Scales (primary outcome), and also scored significantly better on measures of caregiver assistance in self-care (p = 0.008 d = 0.9) and socialization (p = 0.04, d = 0.7) than the Usual Care control group (n = 15). The study shows high rigor in its measurement of treatment fidelity and use of a manualized protocol, and provides support for the use of this intervention for children with autism. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for practice and future research.

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