Evaluation of measures of sensory processing and inattention in a sample of South African preschool learners

Chemel, Yael
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The purpose of this study was to determine what percentage of 100 preschool children between the ages of 4 years to 6 years 11 months attending seven private mainstream schools were identified by teachers and parents with inattention and sensory modulation disorder (SMD). A cross section quantitative descriptive design was used as observational data was obtained on the entire sample of the preschools, at one point in time only, by the child’s parents and teachers. Parents of the participants scored the Sensory Profile and the teachers scored the School Companion and Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale- (ADDES-3) inattention subtest based on their functioning and behaviour at home and at school. Participants were assessed in the classroom and at home and results showed that parents and teachers scored them as having more definite dysfunction than expected compared to a normal distribution. Teachers also scored the participants below average for inattention. Parents indicated less dysfunction than teachers with weak relationship between the School Companion and Sensory Profile indicating that the context in which the participants were observed is important and they may have problems other than SMD and inattention. The School Companion had a moderate positive correlation with the ADDES-3. For the 43% of participants attending therapy there was a low association in the identification of SMD and inattention and attendance at therapy.
dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Johannesburg, 2015