Validating the Diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorders Using EEG Technology

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study tested the assumption of sensory integration theory that states that a relationship exists between brain function and the behavioral manifestations of sensory integrative dysfunction.

METHOD

Electroencephalographic measures were used to examine brain processing in 28 children with sensory processing disorders (SPD) and 25 children who were typically developing, ages 5–12 years.

RESULTS

Children with SPD demonstrated less sensory gating than children who were typically developing. A significant relationship between sensory gating and age was found in children who were typically developing but not in children with SPD. Brain activity correctly distinguished children with SPD from children who were typically developing with 86% accuracy.

CONCLUSION

These results present empirical evidence that children with SPD display unique brain processing mechanisms compared to children who are typically developing and provide external validity for the diagnosis of SPD.

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