A pilot study exploring the effect of an integrated learning therapy home programme together with occupational therapy on child development

Van Zyl, Elecia N
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This research study investigated the possibility of using Integrated Learning Therapy as a home programme to enhance the outcomes of occupational therapy. Integrated Learning Therapy is a sensory based home programme developed by a South African (Dr S Kokot) for children with special learning and behavioural needs and was investigated to address the need for sensory based activities in home programmes within occupational therapy. Sensory-based activities include adult directed activities performed in the natural environment of the child with the aim of producing a short-term effect on self-regulation, attention or behavioural organisation.(1) An alternate, randomised group intervention design, with blind time-interval recording was used to explore the effects that Integrated Learning Therapy together with occupational therapy had on enhancing the occupational therapy outcomes of children aged 5 to 11 years old. A sample of nine children were recruited in this pilot study. Each child participated in the ILT-OT stage and acted as his/her own control. The results suggested that Integrated Learning Therapy presented together with occupational therapy showed a higher percentage of positive change in areas of dysfunction in comparison to when only occupational therapy was available. Change occurred predominantly in the sensory discrimination and sensory modulation abilities of children. The study indicated that earlier implementation of a home programme may be more beneficial than a delay in programme implementation.
research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Occupational Therapy