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Sensory Profile 2: What's New And What Stayed The Same?

Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

April 1, 2018

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Question

What's new with the Sensory Profile 2 compared to the original Sensory Profile? Also, my clinic still utilizes the first version, how much longer will the original be available?

Answer

Some of the things have stayed the same from the first edition, and then some of the things are different based on the data and evidence. There are five versions:

  • Infant version: Birth to 6 months
  • Toddler version: 7 months to 36 months
  • The Short, the Child, and the School Companion versions: 3 years to 14 years, 11 months

If you used the first edition, you know that it only went up to 10 years. People gave us feedback that they needed a tool for children with developmental delays or for children in upper elementary or middle school. We were able to expand it until almost 15 years old, while still using the same items. We tested all of the items with older children to make sure the items were still valid.

There are five different record forms, and they are color-coded. Color-coding makes it easier to grab the correct forms. We separated the Infant and the Toddler because some people only work with young children, and this way they did not need to purchase the other forms. We also color-coded each quadrant. Each single item is color-coded by which quadrant it contributes to so that you can really scan and see if there is a pattern, even inside of one group of items. In the score sheet they are all color-coded as well.

You can score online which is a new thing. You can have people log in and score. If you use the record forms, they have a tear-off sheet now so that you do not have to keep flipping the sheets back and forth to put the summary scores on there. This makes it a lot faster to score. I also had the publishing company put a bell curve at the top of the scoring sheet so that it would make it a little bit easier to show parents or teachers where the child falls in comparison to their peers. Sometimes that is an easier way to explain what those differences are about.

We added a 'does not apply' because some of the items on the Sensory Profile™ 2 and the original Sensory Profile had behaviors that children in the vulnerable groups like autism and ADHD were much more likely to engage in, but parents of children, without those conditions, never saw those behaviors at all. The 'does not apply' category gives them a chance to say, "You know I've never seen this", "it just isn't something I'm aware of ", or "I am not familiar with it." The score goes from zero to five so you have six scores instead of five. All the standardization is built on having that additional choice. We reversed the scoring so that 'always' is five, 'never' is one.

There is only one manual now so you do not have to carry around five manuals. I would suggest getting some tabs at the office store so that you can color-code where the section of interest is located. You can do online administration. You could also have an online report printed, but in order to get it to print out, you have to add in some information about the child's everyday activities and participation so that it links to participation not just sensory processing.

The original Sensory Profile will be available until there are no more. There is no validity problem. There is nothing wrong with using the first edition until you run out of them. That would be a waste not to use them. We had a big school district that I worked with, and they were in a conundrum about it because it would cost a lot of money to buy all new ones for everybody at once. I suggested that they ask the therapists. I hypothesized that some therapists would be eager to start the new version, just like the bell curve, while some would be reticent. I said let the people that are more reticent keep using the first version and let the early adopters try the new one. Then by that time, they will collect some information that they can share with the others. This way it would phase in over a three or four year period. That is what I think all of us should do. There is no reason to waste good data and information.


winnie dunn

Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

Dr. Dunn is Distinguished Professor of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Missouri. Internationally known for her studies about sensory processing in everyday life. She also writes and studies about strengths-based, authentic context interventions. She has published more than 120 research articles, book chapters, and books, and has spoken around the world about her work. She is the author/co-author of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which capture people’s responses to sensory events in everyday life; these assessments have been translated into dozens of languages and are used for both professional practice and in research programs. The Sensory Profile 2 has been released with new standardization and validity testing for children from birth to 15 years. She has received the top honors in her field, including the Award of Merit for outstanding overall contributions, and the Eleanor Clark Slagle Lectureship for outstanding academic contributions; she is a member of the Academy of Research for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and has received the A. Jean Ayres research award. She has also received awards for innovative and engaging teaching, including the Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Kemper Teaching Fellowship and in 2011 she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professorship from the University of Kansas. She has written a book for the public about her research entitled, Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses, which has been featured in Time magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, Canadian Public Radio and the London Times newspaper among others. In July 2009, Living Sensationally received the Seal of Excellence from the Children of the New Earth magazine for parents, professionals and other caregivers. Dr. Dunn has most recently become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, conducts research about the effectiveness of coaching interventions and is Co-Founder of Dunn & Pope Strengths-Based Coaching ( www.dunnandpopecoaching.com ).


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