The Impacts of Sensory Processing Function and Emotional and Behavioral Problems on Self-Care Performance in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Poster Presentation
Friday, May 3, 2019: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Room: 710 (Palais des congres de Montreal)
C. T. Lin, S. Y. Shen and C. Y. Huang, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Self-care performance is increasing important to preschool children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) as they grow up. Participating in self-care activities facilitates children's cognitive and motor developments. Moreover, being independent in self-care performance archives children’s sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, and decreases caregiver’s caring burden and lowers parenting stress. Children with ASD often have sensory processing dysfunction and emotional and behavioral problems which might affect children’s performance in self-care. However, a lack of studies has investigated the impacts of these two critical child factors on self-care performance.


This study aimed to investigate the impacts of sensory processing function and emotional and behavioral problems on self-care performance in 3-6 year-old preschool children with ASD.


The Item bank of computerized adaptive test (CAT) for measuring self-care performance (the CAT-SC) was used to assess self-care performance. Social Responsiveness Scale™ (SRSTM-2) was used to identify ASD severity levels. The short form of Sensory Profile (SSP) was used to assess sensory processing function. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was used to assess emotional and behavioral problems. The multiple regression model was used to investigate the effects of sensory processing function as well as emotional and behavioral problems on self-care performance. The dependent variable was the total score of the item bank of the CAT-SC, and the independent variables included children’s age, sex, the total score of the SRSTM-2, the total score of the SSP and the total score of the CBCL.


A sample of 33 preschool children with ASD was recruited in the study (mean age= 4.84, SD= 1.14), with 28 boys (84.8%) and 5 girls(15.2%). Most of the children had severe ASD (n=16, 48.5%). The stepwise multiple regression model revealed that children’s age (standardized β=0.71) and emotional and behavioral problems (standardized β=-0.44) were significantly related to children’s self-care performance (p<.01). That is, the older children had better self-care performance. On the other hand, children with more emotional and behavioral problems had poorer self-care performance.


Among five critical child factors, only children’s age and emotional and behavioral problems significantly related to self-care performance, which could serve as intervention guide for clinicians. Moreover, ASD severity levels and sensory processing function had no significant associations with self-care performance. This may be because of insufficient sample size of our study, which my need further research to investigate the associations between sensory processing function and self-care performance.

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See more of: Pediatrics