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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3182980cd4
Research Article

Differences in Function Among Children With Sensory Processing Disorders, Physical Disabilities, and Typical Development

Armstrong, Dayle C. PT, MS, DPT; Redman-Bentley, Donna PT, PhD; Wardell, Mary PT, DPT, MS, PCS

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Purpose: To examine the capability and performance of children with sensory processing disorders (SPD) compared with children who are developing typically and those with physical disabilities (PD).

Methods: Participants included parents/caregivers of 81 children ranging in age from 1 to 7.3 years; 57% were boys. The child's therapist interviewed the parents using the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) to measure functional performance.

Results: Children with SPD demonstrated significant differences from children in the other groups in functional skills and caregiver assistance within 3 domains (self-care, mobility, social function).

Conclusions: The PEDI can be used to (1) identify functional delays in young children with SPD, which can affect participation in age-appropriate self-care, mobility, and social skills, and (2) determine appropriate referrals for early intervention.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.


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