Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Shirley P. O'Brien

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


It is estimated that up to 95% of children with autism spectrum disorder experience sensory processing problems. Minimal research is available on the relationship between specific sensory processing patterns, activity preference and behavior patterns in children. It is hypothesized that if children participate in play activities that support their sensory needs, they will experience less behavioral problems, more self-regulating behavior and a higher quality of life. This mixed-methods case study examines how a child with autism spectrum disorder participates in activities and looks at if those activities support sensory needs, thus reinforcing self-regulatory behaviors.