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People have been fascinated by this issue of sensory processing for a long time. Occupational therapists in particular, have studied about sensory processing and its affect on people’s everyday life. You can read a summary of interdisciplinary work in Dunn, 2001.
Jean Ayres was a prominent occupational therapist that introduced the idea that sensory processing was an important factor to consider when trying to help people perform better in every day life. She designed an assessment battery that could be used in research and in practice to identify sensory integration difficulties. The first battery was called The Southern California Sensory Integration Tests, and she also added the Southern California Postrotary Nystagmus test. Other colleagues updated these tests, and called the new battery the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. All of these measures provided a means for therapists and other professionals to understand the nature of sensory integration difficulties, particularly for children with learning disabilities.
Since that time, others have designed assessments for other age groups and other disability groups, all in an attempt to characterize the sensory experiences of people, and in understanding sensory processing, creating more effective ways to support people in everyday life. A common theme was to create sensory history forms, a way to find out from family or caregivers how the person responds to sensory events in life.
We had the advantage of all of this work when we started working on the Sensory Profile measures. They began out of continued requests for more information to understand sensory processing a little bit better.
We only planned to make an assessment for children, the Sensory Profile. It
is for children 3-10 years of age. But then therapists wanted a measure for
babies and for adolescents and adults, so we have also designed the Infant/
Toddler Sensory Profile and the Adolescent/ Adult Sensory
Profile. You can
also find information about these measures on the web site www.sensoryprofile.com .
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