Importance: There is a paucity of research that explores the effectiveness of sensory integration interventions in the school setting.
Objective: To test the effectiveness of a sensory integration intervention paired with teacher consultation, aligned with the principles of Ayres Sensory Integration® and the Sensory Therapies and Research Frame of Reference, to improve functional regulation and active participation in school for students with sensory integration and processing differences.
Design: Concurrent, multiple-baseline, single-subject design.
Setting: Public elementary school in the United States.
Participants: Students (N = 3; ages 5–8 yr) whose sensory integration and processing differences were affecting their school occupational performance and were not remediated by integrated support.
Intervention: For 15 wk, each student had one-to-one sensory integration intervention 2×/wk for 30 min and a consultation between the occupational therapist and teacher weekly for 10 min.
Outcomes and Measures: The dependent variables, functional regulation and active participation, were measured weekly. The Short Child Occupational Profile and Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition, were given before and after intervention. Goal Attainment Scaling and semistructured interviews with the teachers and participants were completed after intervention.
Results: All 3 students showed meaningful improvement in functional regulation and active participation in the classroom during the intervention period as demonstrated by a 2-SD band method or celeration line analysis. All additional measures noted positive change.
Conclusions and Relevance: Findings suggest that sensory integration intervention with consultation in the education setting can improve school performance and participation for children with sensory integration and processing challenges.
What This Article Adds: This study offers an evidence-based model of service delivery for the school setting that is effective in improving the functional regulation and active participation of students whose sensory integration and processing challenges interfere with occupational engagement and are not mitigated by embedded supports.