Showing posts from January, 2007

pseudoscience and sensory integration theory

Pseudoscience is defined by characteristics including the use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, lack of progress, and personalization of issues (see Wikipedia article which is a nice summary). As the article notes, however, it is important to distinguish protoscience with pseudoscience.

At this point in time, 35 years after Jean Ayres wrote Sensory Integration and Learning Disorders, I am willing to consider that this concept of sensory integration theory is no longer 'nascent' and that we have not made appropriate progress toward researching and validating the theory as it is now constituted. For perspective, in 1972 when that book was published, the first hand-held calculator was marketed. Has science not moved forward since that time?

This is not to say that children don't have learning problems, or that they don't have problems in processing sensory informati…

another look at child passenger safety

Earlier this week Consumer Reports reported on the performance of certain child restraints in side impact crashes. That generated a few calls and emails to me from concerned parents.

Now I see that they are retracting the article because of new data they are considering. It seems that the crash velocities used in the Consumer Reports testing far exceeded the 35-38 mph standard that is typically used. Go check out their retraction statement HERE.

I like to highlight this information because any pediatric OTs out there who have young children on their caseloads should be sharing this information with parents. When parents hear about these reports they begin to lose confidence in their car seats - it is critical that parents continue to place their children in their car seats.

This is particularly true for parents of children who have disabilities. Many of these parents already lack confidence in child restraints. Traditional child restraint devices do not address the unique positioning nee…

answers to questions

(I intended to post this over a week ago; life got in the way).

Here are some recent questions that I will answer here:

Hi Chris, I'm an occupational therapist working in a child development clinic in Israel. I am looking into the validity of the Wilbarger brushing technique. I've come across very little that validates the intervention. I thought I read on your blog some sort of critique of the lack of evidence. It might have been on a different blog, but would appreciate your feedback nonetheless especially after reading your thoughts on evidence based practice. Thanks and have a happy new year!-dena

Hi Dena!

Happy New Year to you too! I have blogged about the Wilbarger protocol here ( Nothing has really changed since I wrote that last April. There has been nothing new published that I have seen.

People use the search terms ‘Wilbarger protocol’ frequently, based on hits to this blog. I believe …