Date of Award
Occupational Therapy (M.S.)
Dr. Scott Truskowski
Dr. Cynthia Grapczynski
There is a lack of research regarding the effect of sensory room interventions and equipment on student’s school readiness, as well as a lack of research regarding documentation and monitoring the effectiveness of sensory rooms. This is a problem for occupational therapists and teachers implementing sensory interventions that are not backed by research (Stephenson & Carter, 2011). Occupational therapists in Muskegon County Northern Service Unit (NSU) have determined a need to collect data on the impact of sensory room interventions on student readiness for school-day activities within their district. Program evaluations are needed in order to gather data that discusses the use of sensory rooms to add to the body of knowledge for occupational therapists who wish to develop protocols for effective sensory room use in school settings. Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Masters of Occupational Science and Therapy students were contacted by Muskegon County NSU occupational therapists to conduct a program evaluation regarding the impact of their sensory rooms on student readiness throughout the school day. The occupational therapists requested a partnership with GVSU to analyze data collected during a 6-12 week interval of student participation in their sensory rooms. During this 6-12 week period, the study utilized a Data Collection Sheet for Sensory Room Breaks created by the Muskegon County NSU occupational therapists to collect information during the sensory room interventions. In addition, adult employees working with the students in the sensory rooms were asked to complete an online survey. All of the data collected intended to help the occupational therapists in the NSU gain an understanding of how sensory room interventions can help students remain function throughout their school day. Furthermore, this study exemplifies a data collection method that can be replicated for documentation in other school districts’ sensory rooms. The overall purpose of this program evaluation is to determine the effect of sensory interventions used in four Muskegon County Northern Service Unit (NSU) sensory rooms on the student’s level of school readiness. The program evaluation was conducted to determine if the current use of sensory room interventions increase the readiness for participation in school environments among K-12 students with sensory needs. This information will be used by the school district to support or improve the current sensory interventions that are utilized.
Spyhalski, Mary C., "Program Evaluation of the Impact of Sensory Room Activities on Student Readiness in Muskegon County" (2019). Education. 3.