ABC News Tagline: “Sensory Integration Therapies Lack Evidence”
Well, just seems like information about Sensory Integration (SI) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) keep making the press these days. This latest discussion from ABC News came in last week after the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released an article in Pediatrics entitled Sensory Integration Therapies for Children with Developmental and Behavior Disorders. If you read the entire piece it does state that sensory based OT may be acceptable as one component of a comprehensive treatment plan but goes on to say that the amount of research on SI therapy is "limited and inconclusive". So, in steps Dr. Lucy Miller to the rescue (our OT hero and tireless advocate for our children with SPD!) In her rebuttal she sites additional research including a 2007 Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) by Miller et all which did show "... the effectiveness of OT with children who have SPD, in achieving individualized parent priorities as well as other key outcomes compared to both a passive and an active placebo." Her entire letter goes on to support some of the key components of SPD and ongoing research in intervention and concludes in agreement of one of the AAP recommendations that "... families should be taught to determine whether interventions are effective. This key concept applies to all interventions and all service providers. In addition to evaluating interventions such as OT, parents should be taught to evaluate the effect of medications, nutritional supplements, dietary changes, and other interventions." Please be sure to take the time and read Dr. Miller's full letter to the Editor here. The entire coverage certainly demonstrates how far we have come in the field of OT and SI research, yet the ongoing need to continuously educate our parents, physicians and our communities remains apparent.
P. S. There is also still time to get your comments on SPD in to the APA for the upcoming DSM-5 revisions. See my blog dated May 11th for details. Please help support this important initiative!