Sensory processing difficulties can negatively affect children with autism at school. There is limited evidence to guide practice in this area. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a sensory activity schedule (SAS) used in a school setting on task mastery and occupational performance in the classroom.
A randomised control trial (RCT) was conducted with 30 children to evaluate the efficacy of a school-based SAS. Children in the intervention group received SAS intervention and usual teaching. Children in the control group received only usual teaching. Outcome measures were the perceive, recall, plan and perform stage one procedural task analysis and goal attainment scaling.
Children in the intervention group demonstrated statistically significant improvements in school performance when compared with the control group in both outcome measures.
This was a pilot study with small sample size, so results should be interpreted with caution. Further research is needed to replicate these findings.
A classroom-based SAS may have a positive effect on classroom performance for children with autism. This has implications for professionals who support children with autism and sensory processing difficulties in a school setting.