ADD / ADHD, Auditory, Autism, Balance & Coordination, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Visual, Web/Tech

Sensory Integration: The Art of Placebo?

Sensory Integration is often used with autistic children or childern with severe learning problems but its is not a specific technique. Its an approach that tries to normalise a child’s reactions to sensory input. The School Psychology blog has identified a publication by the National Association of School Psychologists on Sensory Integration in 2002. They weren’t impressed.
There is no study that uses a quality research design (e.g., random assignment of subjects, matched control groups, consideration of the effects of maturation, evaluators blind to treatment condition) that finds SI therapy to be effective in reducing any problem behaviors or increasing any desired behaviors. There is plenty of evidence from which a verdict can be drawn. And the verdict is that, despite the intuitive appeal and glowing testimonials, SI therapy is not an effective treatment ….
Despite this harsh criticism, SI theorists and practitioners may be close to something important. I strongly encourage continued research in this area. However, the general public should not be Guinea pigs. Nor should resources be taken from effective treatments to go towards an unproved treatment. I hope that when new and improved SI models are proven safe and effective, they will dramatically improve the lives of children and their families. When there is evidence of SI as a safe and effective treatment, I promise to publicize such positive findings as vigorously as I have pointed out its current shortcomings.
A School Psychologist Investigates Sensory Integration Therapies: Promise, Possibility, and the Art of Placebo

Previously on Myomancy: The Senses of Autism, Sense Round-Up, Integrated Senses, Sensory Integration and ADHD, Sensory Integration, Sensory Integration Research


  1. Hello –

    I am glad that you picked up on my posting on SI. Having worked with the Autistic population, I feel that it is criminal that these individuals purport that SI is effective, as parents spend a good deal of money on these types of empty treatments.

  2. Dr Laila al-Ayadhi

    Dear Sir / Madam

    I am a medical doctor graduate fro Glasgow university , with a PhD degree in Neurophysiology, currently I am a n associate professor of Neurophysiology in King Saud University (Saudi Arabia) . Part of my current job is the biomedical management of Autism. I am thinking of adding this service (HBOT) to my clinic. I wonder if it is possible to get training in using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, during summer time (July & August). Or if you can suggest to me any training schools or organization the UK or Europe
    Thank you
    Laila AL-Ayadhi (BBMS, MB ChB, PhD)

  3. maria

    to say that si tharipy is un effcevtive you are dead wrong first of all who do we now that self injuries behavoer someone on purpose what your saying is that peaploe are closed mined we dont no for sure what happen with add how do we know that real the sencory intergreation thoery makes sence read it just the dsm state thae self injureies behavoer is syntom

Comments are closed.