Molly McBroom, OTR/L, of Mary Bridge Children’s Therapy Unit (CTU) requested University of Puget Sound occupational therapy (OT) graduate students research the following question: “What is the effectiveness of using sensory based intervention (SBI) or Ayres’ sensory integration® (ASI)and neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) approach with children with sensory processing disorder (SPD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on behavior?” A systematic review of the literature resulted in eight out of 12 studies reporting positive findings. Four of the studies examined ASI and four examined SBI. The other four studies showed inconclusive or negative results. Overall, no clear conclusions could be drawn about the effectiveness of either ASI or SBI. Student researchers recommend assessing a client’s sensory functions to individualize interventions to the client’s specific sensory processing needs.

Upon completion of the research, a knowledge translation process was implemented. This included development of a booklet called Using SENSATION in Pediatric OT, an educational resource for parents of children with sensory processing needs. Based on feedback from pilot testing with parents, rhe booklet was found to be beneficial in providing a comprehensive outline of sensory processing dysfunction and the two interventions used to address related concerns in children. We recommend that Mary Bridge Children’s OT practitioners place the booklet in their outpatient rehabilitation clinics’ lobbies for parents and caretakers who are new to sensory processing dysfunctions.

Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


University of Puget Sound

Project Chairperson

Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Project Chairperson

Publication Date



Capstone Project





Degree Program

Occupational Therapy

Degree Level

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound

KGaspich.pdf (113 kB)