Does my child have a sensory issue?
The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) by Dr. A. Jean Ayres, considered the “gold standard of testing for evaluating sensory integration and praxis functions” (Susanne Smith Roley, MS, OTR/L), is the most complete and flexible assessment of sensory integration available to occupational therapists. The tests measure the sensory integration processes that underlie learning and behavior. By examining how children organize and respond to sensory input, the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests help pinpoint specific organic problems associated with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and minimal brain dysfunction. The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests measure visual, tactile, vestibular, kinesthetic and proprioceptive perception as well as motor performance, including bilateral coordination and praxis. It is composed of 17 subtests. Norms are provided for each test, and are based on a national sample of more than 2,000 children between the ages of 4 years and 8 years, 11 months.
Description of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT)
Description of each of the 17 subtests
The Miller Assessment for Preschoolers (MAP) is a short but comprehensive preschool assessment instrument that helps evaluate young children for mild to moderate developmental delays. It provides a broad overview of a child’s developmental status relative to other children the same age. Designed for children from 2-9 through 5-8 years of age, the Miller Assessment for Preschoolers provides a separate form for each of six age levels. All of the forms evaluate five areas of performance, yielding the following Index Scores—Foundations Index (assesses abilities involving basic motor tasks and the awareness of sensations), Coordination Index (assesses complex gross, fine, and oral motor abilities), Verbal Index (focuses on memory, sequencing, comprehension, association, and expression in a verbal context), Nonverbal Index (examines memory, sequencing, visualization, and the performance of mental manipulations not requiring spoken language), and Complex Tasks Index (measures sensorimotor abilities in conjunction with cognitive abilities that require interpretation of visuospatial information). Test development was based on research involving more than 4,000 children and 800 items to insure a comprehensive determination of developmental status.
Sensory Processing Measure (SPM)
The Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) provides a complete picture of children’s sensory functioning at home, at school, and in the community. Recognizing that sensory processing problems often manifest differently in different environments, this set of three integrated rating scales assesses sensory processing, praxis, and social participation in elementary school children (ages 5-12). Firmly grounded in sensory integration theory, the Sensory Processing Measure provides norm-referenced standard scores for two higher level integrative functions–praxis and social participation–and five sensory systems–visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular functioning. Within each system, it offers descriptive clinical information on processing vulnerabilities, including under- and over-responsiveness, sensory-seeking behavior, and perceptual problems.
The Sensory Processing Measure consists of three forms: Home Form, Main Classroom Form, & School Environments Forms. The Home Form is completed by the child’s parent or home-based care provider. The Main Classroom Form is filled out by the child’s primary classroom teacher. And the School Environments Forms are completed by other school personnel who work with and observe the child. Scores for each of the Home and Main Classroom forms fall into one of three interpretive ranges: Typical, Some Problems, or Definite Dysfunction. In addition, an Environment Difference score permits direct comparison of the child’s sensory functioning at home and at school. The School Environments Forms examine the child’s functioning in six school environments outside of the main classroom—Art Class, Music Class, Physical Education Class, Recess/Playground, Cafeteria, and on the School Bus. Each environment has its own rating sheet, which is distributed to raters as needed. Each rating sheet is interpreted using a cutoff score for the environment to which it applies. Scores at or above the cutoff point indicate whether or not the child is experiencing sensory processing problems in the given environment.
Sensory Processing Measure – Preschool (SPM-P)
The Preschool edition of the Sensory Processing Measure (SPM-P) provides an early look at overall sensory functioning as well as specific vulnerabilities that can affect learning in children as young as 2 years of age. Appropriate for children 2-5 years old, the Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool measures the same functions as the Sensory Processing Measure. Within each sensory system, the items also reveal specific problems, including under- and over-responsiveness, sensory-seeking behavior, and perceptual problems. In addition, the items provide information on the senses of taste and smell. The Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool includes both a Home Form, completed by the parent, and a School Form, completed by the preschool teacher or day care provider. Used together, the two forms provide a comprehensive overview of sensory processing, and they allow users to quickly compare the child’s functioning across settings.
DeGangi-Berk Test of Sensory Functions (TSI)
The DeGangi-Berk Test of Sensory Integration (TSI) permits early detection of even subtle developmental deficits that could lead to learning difficulties if ignored in children from 3 to 5 years. The 36-items can be administered in 30 minutes and measure overall sensory integration as well as three clinically significant subdomains: Postural Control, Bilateral Motor Integration, and Reflex Integration. The child performs specific tasks or responds to various stimuli and the therapist rates the child’s performance on each item. When used as the basis for screening decisions, total scores demonstrate an 81 percent accuracy rate.
Test of Sensory Function in Infants (TSFI)
The Test of Sensory Functions in Infants offers an objective way to determine whether and to what extent an infant has sensory processing deficits. It has been standardized for infants between 4-18 months of age. It is an individually administered test and requires simple hands on interactions with the infant.