Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Cooper

Third Advisor

Dr. Yvette Hyter

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this research project was to determine whether children who are experiencing traumatic stress reaction to childhood neglect· or abuse demonstrate sensory processing disorders. It was hypothesized that since neurodevelopment has been disrupted in children who have been exposed to trauma or neglect, sensory processing abilities may also be disrupted.

The Sensory Profile, a judgment-based caregiver questionnaire, provides a standard method to measure a child's sensory processing abilities and to profile the effect of sensory processing on a child's functional performance. A convenience sample of 25 children, with documented traumatic stress reaction due to abuse and/or neglect, was evaluated.

The results were scored and interpreted according to the classification system of the Sensory Profile: typical performance, probable difference, and definite difference. Results indicated 80% of the children who are experiencing traumatic stress reaction were reported by caregivers to have difficulties with sensory processing.