The impact of sensory integration groups on the participation of children and young people with learning disabilities: perceptions of therapists and teaching staff

Alice Harland, Craig Swarbrick, David Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Sensory integration techniques which follow the theory outlined by Ayres (1972) are widely used by occupational therapists as an intervention for children and young adults with learning disabilities, but their efficacy is unclear. Research studies have suggested increased levels of participation and other positive behavioural changes following group sessions using sensory integration techniques, but literature reviews have highlighted a scarcity of evidence supporting their use. Materials and Methods: A qualitative study in which therapy and teaching staff of children and young adults with learning disabilities aged between 5 and 22, at a school and a college in England, were interviewed to gain understanding of their perceptions of the impact of these groups. Findings: Groups involving sensory integration techniques were perceived to have a positive effect on the abilities and participation (in both the group itself and subsequent learning and other activities) of children and young adults with learning disabilities and other complex needs in educational settings. Conclusions: The findings are of relevance to occupational therapists and others working with young people with learning disabilities in special educational and other settings. In particular, they suggest variables that may have the potential to be measured in future research evaluating such sensory integration groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrighton Journal of Research in Health Sciences
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 Brighton Journal of Research in Health Sciences

Keywords

  • Children and young people
  • Learning disabilities
  • Occupational therapy
  • Participation
  • Sensory integration

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of sensory integration groups on the participation of children and young people with learning disabilities: perceptions of therapists and teaching staff'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this