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Sensory Integration and Praxis Test

by on November 4, 2013

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy congratulates Mansi Dalal, OTD, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, as she has earned the Sensory Integration Certification. She is now certified in administering and interpreting the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test. (SIPT)

Sensory Integration and Praxis Test

Sensory integration is the neurological process by which sensations (such as from the eyes, skin, joints, gravity and movement sensory receptors) are organized for use. Children with developmental and learning difficulties, including autism and other developmental disabilities, developmental risk conditions, behavior and attention disorders, learning disabilities, and developmental coordination disorder often have challenges with processing of information coming through various senses, and acting upon it to give a response. Thorough assessment is critical in ascertaining whether a sensory processing issue is a factor in the child’s development, and if so, which intervention strategies will best help the child and family. Sensory integration dysfunction also popularly known as sensory processing disorder was likened to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly by a pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD.

Currently assessment of SI dysfunction begins with a screening of symptoms through parent checklists or parent interview, clinical observations and standardized test measurements. Currently, the primary standardized assessment tool used for diagnosing SI dysfunction or SPD is the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) developed by A. Jean Ayres, PhD, OTR. The SIPT is suitable for children ages 4 to 8 who have learning or developmental delays, particularly in praxis (motor planning) or tactile or visual discrimination.

The SIPT helps us to understand why some children have difficulty learning and behaving the as we expected. SIPT measures aspects of sensory processing and perception that are necessary for function. The SIPT has 17 tests that roughly fall under the following four overlapping types:

1) Motor-free visual perception– these tests evaluate the ability to visually perceive and discriminate form and space without involving motor coordination.

2) Somatosensory– these tests assess tactile, muscle and joint perception. During these tests the child is encourage to feel rather than see.

3) Praxis- these tests assess how well a child is able to use their hands and body in skilled tasks such as playing with toys, using a pencil or a fork.

4) Sensorimotor- these tests assess a child’s ability to integrate information coming through the sense and provide a response. Activities that involve bilateral coordination, balance, eye-hand coordination and vestibular system performance are used for testing.

The entire battery of 17 tests can be given in 2 hours. And any of the individual tests can be administered separately in about 10 minutes. Norms are provided for each test–based on a national sample of more than 2,000 children between the ages of 4 years and 8 years, 11 months.

Mansi Dalal, OTD, SIPT is a treating therapist at MOSAIC Children’s Therapy.      Mosaic-Childrens http://mosaicrehab.com/bellevue/therapists/mansi_dalal.php

References:

Description of the Sensory Integration and Praxis tests for Parents by A. Jean Ayres, PhD.

http://www.spdfoundation.net/diagnosing.html

http://ot.usc.edu/academics/sensory-integration

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