Sensory Profile

Return to Sensory Profile Measures

The Sensory Profile is a caregiver questionnaire which measures children’s responses to sensory events in everyday life (for children 3-10 years of age). There are 125 items in the profile, and there is a short version which contains 38 items (for screening and research programs). Caregivers complete the questionnaire by reporting how frequently their children respond in the way described by each item; they use a 5 point Likert scale (nearly never, seldom, occasionally, frequently, almost always). The Sensory Profile contains sections corresponding to each sensory system, sections which indicate the modulation of sensory input across sensory systems, and sections which indicate behavioral and emotional responses that are associated with sensory processing. Additionally, professionals can calculate scores from a factor structure which reflects children’s responsiveness to sensory input across sensory systems. Using national samples of more than 1,000 children, the author calculated cut scores which indicate when a child’s scores are significantly different from their peers’ responses. Studies with children who have various disabilities (including autism, Asperger syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder), researchers have shown that children with thee disabilities have significantly different patterns of sensory processing from their peers and from children in other disability groups. Findings thus far suggest that sensory processing patterns may inform both the diagnosis of disorders and provide guidance for intervention planning. A comprehensive bibliography and new information is available at

Dunn, W. (1999). The Sensory Profile manual. The Psychological Corporation, San Antonio.

Suggested Reading(s):
Dunn, W. (2001). The sensations of everyday life: theoretical, conceptual and pragmatic considerations. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 608-620.

Dunn, W., & Bennett, D. (2002). Patterns of sensory processing in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 22, 4-15.

Kientz, M., & Dunn, W. (1997). A comparison of children with autism and typical children using the Sensory Profile. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 51, 530-537.

Ermer, J, & Dunn, W., (1998). The sensory profile: a discriminant analysis of children with and without disabilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 283-290.

Dunn, W., Myles, B. & Orr, S. (2002). Sensory processing issues associated with Asperger syndrome: a preliminary investigation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 56, 97-102.

Return to Sensory Profile Measures