Sensory Processing Differences in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders 2nd Edition

About the Course
Sensory processing differences are common among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 5th Edition describes any unusual sensory response to the environment, sensory reactivity, or unusual sensory interests as a core symptom within the restricted interests and repetitive behavior diagnostic criteria. Given that sensory processing differences impact children’s participation in various occupations, many occupational therapy practitioners implement intervention approaches that incorporate sensory processing knowledge. Evidence on the efficacy of sensory-based interventions is variable, and it is therefore necessary for occupational therapy practitioners to review sensory processing concepts and related intervention evidence to best plan and implement interventions that incorporate sensory processing knowledge. The purpose of this intermediate-level course is to provide (1) a summary of research on sensory processing in ASD; (2) an overview and evidence of sensory processing assessments; and (3) a review of the evidence related to sensory integration, sensory-based interventions, and comprehensive interventions that incorporate sensory processing knowledge. The content of this course is considered “intermediate”; that is, the learner should have a basic knowledge of ASD and children’s occupations, and an understanding of pediatric intervention approaches. The target audience for this practice-specific course includes occupational therapy practitioners who work with children with ASD, and can include those working across differing settings including clinics, homes, and/or schools.

Learning Objectives 
  • Explain sensory processing patterns and prevalence of sensory processing differences among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • Examine how sensory processing may relate to core features of ASD and impact participation in everyday activities in those with ASD.
  • Describe the assessment tools available to practitioners to measure sensory processing in ASD.
  • Evaluate the evidence related to various sensory-focused interventions, including sensory integration and comprehensive intervention approaches that incorporate sensory processing knowledge.
  • Apply knowledge of sensory processing pattern evaluation and sensory-related interventions to case studies. 
About the Author
Lauren M. Little, PhD, OTR/L has a clinical background in occupational therapy and a PhD in occupational science. Dr. Little’s clinical experience and program of research is focused on families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She has taught interdisciplinary courses related to behavioral interventions for children with ASD as well as pediatric practice and research courses in occupational therapy. Dr. Little has a number of publications about sensory processing measurement and intervention for children with ASD and other developmental conditions.

How to Receive Credit
  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • Answer the final examination questions at the end of the course. A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.
Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

©2022: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.