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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


VAN JAARSVELD, Annamarie et al. Sensory processing, praxis and related social participation of 5-12 year old children with Down Syndrome attending educational facilities in Bloemfontein, South Africa. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2016, vol.46, n.3, pp.15-20. ISSN 2310-3833.

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.

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

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