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Sensory Integration and Implications for Occupational Therapy: Intervention with the Adult Population

Meredith Chandler

OTR/L

Course Length: 2.0 Contact hours (.2 AOTA CEU)
PRIMARY Presentation Category: Adult Rehabilitation
SECONDARY Presentation Category: Sensory processing/Sensory Integration
Intended Audience: Introductory
Short Abstract:

The course includes a review of sensory integration, sensory processing disorder, and pediatric foundations as well as implications for adult-based interventions and assessment which will be provided via research-based lecture, case studies, group discussion, and lab demonstration.

Full Abstract:

Sensory integration is a well-known therapeutic approach that outlines numerous interventions rooted in the pediatric world of OT. Dr. Jean Ayres recognized theories based in neuroplasticity and that sensory integration positively influenced children with sensory processing disorder. However, children with sensory processing disorders (often paired with other diagnosed comorbidities) grow up, carrying sensory-based challenges with them that can drastically impede functional performance. 

The purpose of this course is to describe and discuss sensory integration and its evidence-based implications for intervention with adults as designed by OT practitioners. First, the course will provide foundational knowledge based on sensory integration and sensory processing theoretical models, how sensory processing impacts functional performance in adults, and how standardized assessments can be utilized to identify sensory processing disorder in the adult population.

The course will then cover interventional approaches rooted in sensory integration including: restorative techniques (i.e. Wilbarger and deep pressure for tactile defensiveness, self-feeding), compensatory techniques (environmental modifications, sensory room design), and educational approaches for caregivers and families. Additionally, there will be an overview of current evidence-based research revealing the effectiveness of sensory integration-based intervention for adults with sensory processing disorder. 

Finally, the course will provide documentation and coding methods for ethically billing for sensory integration-based interventions in multiple OT settings. While current research heavily supports pediatric interventions, there is a dire need for OT practitioners to advocate for adult patients with sensory processing disorder. Since sensory processing disorder is not recognized as a diagnosable psychiatric condition according to APA’s DSM-V, OTs play a vital role in providing viable, researchable sensory integration interventions with adults. 


This course falls under both “Therapy Service Delivery” and “Foundational Knowledge” in depth as it pertains to sensory integration implications for the adult population. The presentation will be outlined and delivered via Powerpoint lecture with intermittent open discussion, group work, case studies, and group lab for intervention training.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe basic sensory processing and sensory integration terminology as it pertains to OT intervention settings.
  2. Identify and apply at least 3 sensory integration-based interventions as tailored for the adult population.
  3. Discuss methods for fidelity, billing, and reimbursement for sensory integration-based interventions in multiple OT settings.
Educational Value:

While sensory processing disorders and sensory integration interventions have been recognized for decades, implications for intervention and assessment for the adult population continues to be highly enigmatic for OTs across the profession, in experience and education. This course adds value to the profession on a holistic level because it explores an area of OT that will greatly benefit a large population inhibited by unaddressed sensory-based limitations that affects both the functional performance of clients and the client-centered care plans outlined and guided by OTs. OT practitioners will be equipped to tackle these sensory-based limitations by providing their adult clients with relevant interventions and educational tools to steer them towards successful occupational performance and an enhanced quality of life.

Company Affiliated With: Independent contract writer and researcher (My OT Spot; Home CEU Connection; Seniors Flourish); OT consultant for AOTA
Financial Disclosure: Independent contract writer
Non-Financial Disclosure e.g. Member of; or, No Non-Financial Disclosures: Idaho Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA), Bingham Arts Council (BAC) of Bingham County, ID, Firth Community Orchestra

Online registration is now closed.

Onsite registration is available Friday, October 20th 8:00-9:00 AM and Saturday, October 21st 7:30-8:30 AM, at the registration table. Please have a credit or debit card available to complete the virtual registration, no cash or check payments will be taken.