A clinical reasoning framework for children with autism spectrum disorder experiencing sensory challenges
The clinical reasoning framework aims to guide practitioners in selecting strategies in approaching sensory challenges in order to optimize participation of children with autism spectrum disorder. Several clinical reasoning considerations are based on this framework, and these include research evidence, client- and family-centeredness, practice contexts, occupation-centeredness, and risks. This framework emphasizes on the use of mutual information-sharing and coaching to empower families or teachers and develop their own solutions to supporting children’s participation. Workable solutions can be then produced because the strategies will be more compatible with the children’s routine and be more readily to be generalized to other situations in daily lives. By using the clinical reasoning framework, the nature of problem is identified in the beginning. For children with sensory seeking behaviors or sensory aversions that interfere with participation, adaptive strategies may be used. For example, using earmuffs to screen out excessive noise. If the modulation of arousal interferes with the children’s capacity, sensory input embedded within daily routines (like calming or alerting sensory input) may be used to modulate arousal (e.g., a movement break to settle a hyperaroused child). If maladaptive challenging behaviors related to sensory processing persist, it may be helpful to adapt behavioral strategies in relation to sensory processing. If the children have the ability to reflect on own responses, self-regulatory strategies should be considered. Universal design principles are the other approaches that can be used simultaneously to support a group of children in shared environment. This universal design approach is to modify the environment in optimizing sensory properties of the shared environments. The ultimate goal of the clinical reasoning framework is to advocate self-regulatory strategies of children with autism spectrum disorder experiencing sensory challenges, with or without universal design principles, in order to optimize their participation in everyday activities.
Sensory processing disorder
Domain of occupation
It aims to guide practitioners in selecting strategies for optimizing participation of children with autism spectrum disorder experiencing sensory challenges.
Ashburner, J. K., Rodger, S. A., Ziviani, J. M., & Hinder, E. A. (2014). Optimizing participation of children with autism spectrum disorder experiencing sensory challenges: A clinical reasoning framework. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81, 29-38.
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