Sensory processing, praxis and related social participation of children with Down syndrome 5–12 years of age attending educational facilities in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Annamarie van Jaarsveld, Francois C van Rooyen, Al-Mari van Biljon, Ilze Janse van Rensburg, Katherine James, Laetitia Böning, Lise Haefele

Abstract


Background: Down syndrome is one of the most investigated and well discussed syndromes related to intellectual disability, yet little
can be found in literature of the impact that sensory processing difficulties or disorders have on the functioning of individuals with
Down syndrome. This study investigated the sensory processing, praxis and related social participation of children with Down syndrome
with the purpose of contributing to a better understanding thereof and heightening awareness of the importance of including sensory
integration therapy as part of intervention.
Methods: The study was conducted by using a cross-sectional, quantitative, descriptive study design. The Sensory Processing Measure
(SPM) Home Form was used to collect information regarding the children’s sensory processing, praxis and related social participation.
The questionnaire was completed by a parent or caregiver of a child with Down syndrome (n=15).
Results: The majority of the children with Down syndrome included in the study experienced vulnerabilities in social participation
(53.3%) and praxis (80.0%), whereas 100% of the children experienced vulnerabilities in sensory processing.
Conclusion: The results of this study contribute to the emerging understanding of the sensory processing, praxis and related social
participation of children with Down syndrome. The findings may be taken into consideration by occupational therapists delivering services
to children with Down syndrome to ensure optimal intervention. It is recommended that further studies on larger samples investigate
this topic to corroborate these findings

Key words: Sensory processing; social participation; praxis; Down syndrome; sensory processing measure.


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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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