Title

Sensory Processing and Praxis as Predictors of Play Performance in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Date of Completion

January 2012

Keywords

Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Clinical

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Background: There are well documented play deficits in autism that begin with object play in infancy. In order to create effective public health interventions to educate parents, ameliorate these deficits, and prevent further skill delays, the predictors of play deficits in autism must be established. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder frequently report sensory processing difficulties and poor praxis; however, these are potential predictors of play skills that have not been well studied. ^ Methods: Using a pre-existing data set of 162 individuals with autism spectrum disorder, this study examined the direct and indirect relationships between sensory processing, praxis, and play performance via structural equation modeling. ^ Results: The final model that best fit the data suggested that sensory processing predicts praxis and play in combination; however, praxis did not serve as a mediator of the relationship between sensory processing and play. ^ Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that in children with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing abilities are related to play in combination with praxis. ^