Parent Perspectives on DEEP Touch Pressure Sensory-Based Interventions for Chldren with ASD

Poster Presentation
Friday, May 11, 2018: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Hall Grote Zaal (de Doelen ICC Rotterdam)
M. Pena, Holland Bloorview Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Bloorview Research Institute, Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada
Background: Deep touch pressure sensory-based interventions are recommended by occupational therapists to enable function and participation in children with autism spectrum disorder. There is a paucity of research however, on parents' perceptions of these interventions when administered within naturalistic settings

Objectives: To examine parents' perceptions of the value, uptake, and acceptability of deep touch pressure sensory-based interventions when used to target challenging behaviours in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Methods: Using a survey design, an online questionnaire was created. The questionnaire was sent to 399 families registered at the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders' database; 152 parents completed the study, yielding a response rate of 39%. Data were analyzed for frequency of responses and open-ended responses were reviewed and grouped by the researchers.

Results: The most frequently recommended interventions were trampoline (54.6%), massage (47.8%), and oral-motor tools (43.8%). Of the recommended interventions, the percentage of use was highest for massage (96.3%), followed by trampoline (89.2%), and joint compressions and brushing (89.2%). The majority of parents found the interventions helpful in addressing challenging behaviours and most viewed their use to be important (31.7%) or very important (43.1%). Main barriers included: interventions were not recommended to parents, parents found them difficult to use, and families did not have access to the recommended equipment. To increase the use of these interventions, parents wanted ongoing support from the occupational therapist and access to therapeutic equipment.

Conclusions: These interventions are valued and accepted by parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, but that there are barriers to their use. By gaining an understanding of, and addressing, these barriers occupational therapists may support improved uptake of these interventions.