Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT), Occupational Therapy


It is estimated that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 88 children (CDC, 2012). Given this rapid and little understood increase in prevalence, the study of ASD and the search for effective treatments has become an area of intense interest. While there are many treatments available, controversy abounds as to which approach is most effective. Occupational therapists have long endorsed Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT) as the vehicle for helping children with ASD regulate sensory experiences and thus alleviate the symptoms of ASD. While SIT is a commonly used intervention and evidence exists to suggest that SIT is effective, it has not reached a level of consensus in the scientific community. The goal of this paper is to review the evidence for and against using SIT for the treatment of ASD and to discuss the role of the occupational therapist in the future research of this methodology.