Looking For Case Studies Regarding Sensory-Rich Activities Helping Behavior

Do you know of any case studies which show that adding sensory-rich activities to a classroom can help kids with SPD behave better? Thanks so much!


Of course we know, as OT's that engaging in purposeful activities will in fact reduce undesirable behaviors and increase levels of functioning. This I'm sure is well documented in OT literature, as it is the basis (and history) of our profession. I also know hundreds of parents and teachers that could certainly provide individual success stories... but, I know, you are looking for the formal research. So, there are several places I can direct you as I don't have these studies in hand.

Before I do, just a few things. I am curious... are you an OT, a teacher, or parent? For what specific reason are you seeking this information? Is it for your own personal knowledge? As a professional or parent setting IEP or 504 goals or accommodations? Are you an OT student doing a project or research paper? The reason I ask all of these questions is to know in what capacity you are hoping to use this information, because I would love to find this out as well.

I am excited for you regarding the possibility of finding and using this research; I do hope it exists. It could benefit so many kids in the schools, regardless of disability. I know some wonderful teachers have already begun using these concepts and I hope multi-sensory and sensory-rich activities continue to be integrated into the classroom settings.

I think you may have the most success finding studies if you are looking for specific, sensory-based activities vs. the more general concept. For example, there are studies regarding how weighted vests improve behavior, or how the therapeutic use of weight helps with transitions, etc. So, I would look up specifics regarding weighted products, activities that increase proprioceptive input (such as Bodysox, Theraband, Disc 'o Sit Cushions, deep pressure, etc.), or making sure children follow a sensory diet, etc.

The best places I know of to find this information will be:

1. Is SPD Real? (includes links to hundreds of research articles). In particular, pay attention to the links to the Advance Magazine For OT's articles and The Eide's Neurolearning Blog Archives.

2. The American Journal Of Occupational Therapy.

3. The British Journal Of Occupational Therapy.

4. A google search (under scholarly articles) for such research.

5. Any research done by Dr. Lucy Miller at The STAR Center (www.starcenter.us).

6. Contact Diana Henry at www.ateachabout.com;.

7. Read information by, and contact, Carol Stock Kranowitz, author of:

These are my best suggestions at this time. Does anyone else know of specific studies that have benn done or other resources to find them? We would love to know... respond/comment below.

Good luck in your search for information. Let us know what you find, ok?

Take good care.
Michele Mitchell

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Jan 08, 2010
sensory diet in school
by: jill b

It has worked with my son in school in year 3 i was always being called in for unacceptable behavior. then got diagnosis and devised diet for him now in year 5 I have yet to be called in. only time I have been spoken to by teacher is to say how well it's going!

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