Greater than 80% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience sensory differences that make it difficult for them to fully participate in meaningful everyday activities. In this research study, we will use MRI and behavioral methods to assess how sensory interventions might change sensory brain structures, allowing us to better predict which sensory interventions might work best for whom.
Gainesville, Florida 32610, United States
The families of children will have access to transportation to attend intervention sessions 2 times per week for 16-weeks.
Children who qualify will be verbal, and will speak and understand English. The native language of caregivers can include Spanish.
Children who qualify will have sensorimotor delays as assessed by the study team using the standardized, norm-referenced assessments described in this research proposal (z-scores on 3 of 5 tests -1.0 or lower).
Exclusion Criteria: Children younger than 6 years of age or older than 8 years, 6 months of age will be excluded. Additional exclusion criteria include:
Auditory hyperresponsivity as assessed during screening procedures.
Medical co-morbidities such as extreme prematurity (less than 28 weeks), blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, or head-injury with loss of consciousness.
History of individual occupational therapy services in a clinical setting that includes sensory equipment.
Non-removable metal in the head or body (e.g. dental fillings & braces, metal pins, screws or plates).
Children unable to complete neurocognitive or sensorimotor testing.
Children unsuccessful in 3 mock scanning sessions during baseline testing.
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