Sensory intervention, one aspect in the occupational therapy treatment of the high-risk, preterm infant in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), is discussed. Normal deviations in the healthy preterm baby’s development at the equivalent age of the full-term baby are identified as a basis for intervention. Environmental factors affecting the preterm infant’s interactions and therapeutic needs, such as the NICU environment and medical intervention, are reviewed. The rationale underlying the selection of sensory evaluation and treatment approaches is based on recent research. These approaches primarily focus on visual, tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, and, to a lesser degree, auditory stimulation.
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Copyright © 1986 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.