This study investigated whether sensory history questionnaires differentiated between developmentally delayed children with and without tactile defensiveness and, in addition, which individual items were most discriminative. Interviews were conducted with 20 mothers of developmentally delayed children regarding their children’s past and present behavioral responses to tactile and other sensory stimuli. The group of mothers with tactually defensive children reported a significantly greater number of positive responses to items previously determined to be indicative of tactile defensiveness than did the mothers of children without tactile defensiveness. An individual item analysis identified 11 items as discriminating most clearly between a group of children with tactile defensiveness and a group without tactile defensiveness. Some preliminary behavioral trends and implications for the use of sensory history questionnaires in parent counseling and in planning appropriate treatment programs are presented.

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