Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2020


Children with autism spectrum disorders often struggle socially and emotionally in the classroom setting due to overstimulation. The purpose of this literature review is to synthesize research on the effects of Dr. A. Jean Ayre's sensory integration therapy intervention for students with an autism spectrum disorder, specifically as they are applied in the classroom. Ayres was an occupational therapist, educational psychologist, and an advocate for individuals with special needs. Dr. Ayres developed the sensory integration therapy approach, or SIT, in the 1970s, and SIT has since been used by hundreds of occupational therapists around the world. Overall, sensory integration therapy has proven to be a marginally effective intervention to enhance the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students with ASD. This literature review critically analyzes research from scholarly journals and peer-reviewed articles that were published within the last decade regarding the selected topic of interest. Published research on Ayre's sensory integration approach indicates some positive effects on children with autism and their overall functioning in the classroom, but additional research is needed to determine the magnitude of effect.