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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

versión On-line ISSN 2310-3833
versión impresa ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.42 no.3 Pretoria  2012




The use of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests with South African children



Annamarie van JaarsveldI; Zoe MaillouxII; David S. HerzbergIII

IMOT (UFS). Head, Dept of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, UFS
IIMA in Occupational Therapy (University of Southern California). Director of Administration, Pediatric Therapy Network
IIIPhD, Psychology (Clinical), (University of California), Senior Project Director, Western Psychological Services





BACKROUND: The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) developed by A. Jean Ayres, are currently one of the best researched and scientifically sound measuring instruments available for detecting developmental problems based on sensory integration functions2,3. There is currently no instrument of the stature of the SIPT, available that is standardised on the South African (SA) population. The question that needed to be answered was whether the use of the SIPT on SA children was fair and just, since the SIPT is standardised on a sample of children from the United States (US).
METHODOLOGY: A quantitative, descriptive research design was used to investigate equivalency between the US normative data and a sample of typically developing SA children.
FINDINGS: This research indicated that 12 of the 17 test items of the SIPT can be scored against the normative sample of US children. There are however five tests within the older age bands (6y 0m - 8y 11m) on which the SA sample of children performed moderately to significantly better. This can cause SA children who do have sensory integration dysfunctions to go unidentified by the SIPT.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: The scores of five of the tests of children in the older age bands must each be adapted with ½ a standard deviation unit to the negative side before clinical interpretation and reasoning are done by the occupational therapist.

Key words: Sensory Integration, SIPT, use on South African children



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Annamarie van Jaarsveld

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