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The immediate effects of deep pressure on young people with autism and severe intellectual difficulties: a case series demonstrating individual differences

Bestbier, L. and Williams, T. (2017) The immediate effects of deep pressure on young people with autism and severe intellectual difficulties: a case series demonstrating individual differences. Occupational therapy international, 2017. 7534972,. ISSN 1557-0703

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1155/2017/7534972

Abstract/Summary

Background: Deep pressure is a touch therapy technique widely used by occupational therapists for people with autism spectrum disorders. It is conceptually related to Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy and to the “hug” machine of Temple Grandin. There is limited research evaluating deep pressure. Objective: to evaluate the immediate effects of deep pressure on young people with autism and severe intellectual disabilities. Methods: Mood and behaviour were rated by staff working with the pupils before and after sessions of deep pressure and diary records were kept of other significant events. 13 pupils with ASD and severe ID took part in the study. Results: Sufficient data was available from 8 participants to be analysed using tau-u, a non-parametric technique that allows for serial dependence in data. Six showed benefits statistically. Five of these showed benefits across all domains, and one showed benefits on three out of five domains. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Deep pressure appears to be of immediate benefit to this population with autism and severe ID, but the heterogeneity of response suggests that careful monitoring of response should be used and deep pressure discontinued when it is no longer of benefit. Limitations: This is an open label evaluation study using rating scales. Recommendations for future research: Future studies of the use of deep pressure should use physiological response measures, in addition to blinded raters for aspects of behaviors such as attitude to learning psychological health not captured physiologically.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:66713
Uncontrolled Keywords:Deep pressure; Autism; Sensory Integration
Publisher:Hindawi

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