Sensory processing in children with Down syndrome
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Down syndrome is the most common identifiable form of developmental disability. Children with Down syndrome have impairments in performance areas such as motor, communication, visual spatial, and auditory processing skills. Most research in Down syndrome assumes there to be a sensory processing disorder, but the evidence is limited. The purpose of the study is to examine and compare the sensory processing skills of 5 to 10 year old children with Down syndrome to typically developing children matched for chronological age. Thirty parents of children with Down syndrome were asked to complete the Sensory Profile which is a 125-item judgment based questionnaire. Each item in the Sensory Profile describes the child's response to various sensory experiences. One sample t-tests were used to compare the scores of the children with Down syndrome to the normative scores of the Sensory Profile and independent t-tests were used to make comparisons among the children with Down syndrome. The children with Down syndrome scored significantly lower ( p < .0056) than the normative scores on most of the sensory processing and factor categories. There were no significant differences in most of the sensory processing categories among the children with Down syndrome. The results of this study suggest that sensory processing in children with Down syndrome is different from that of typical children. This information may be useful for occupational therapists for understanding sensory processing in children with Down syndrome.