Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mackenzie Feldhacker


sensory processing, sensory integration, occupational therapy, aquatic therapy, equine-assisted therapy, pediatric, parents/caregivers

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Sensory processing disorder affects between five and 16.5 percent of the population and up to 90% of individuals with disabilities. Occupational therapists are equipped to treat sensory processing difficulties using occupation-based, sensory-based, and client-centered interventions. There is limited evidence on how occupational therapists can use multiple intervention environments including typical sensory gyms, aquatic therapy, and equine-assisted therapy to specifically target sensory processing. Therefore, the purpose of the capstone project was to explore the effectiveness of multiple occupational therapy interventions for children with sensory processing difficulties. The capstone project focused on advanced clinical practice while incorporating education and program development to explore occupational therapy intervention in three different contexts (sensory gym, aquatic, and equine). The results of the capstone project suggest that utilizing different intervention environments can lead to changes in client’s sensory processing preferences. Findings also show that incorporation of parent/caregiver education and hands-on training has positive impacts on parents/caregivers and their children. Occupational therapists should incorporate more intervention environments and sensory techniques into their practice to create the best outcomes for pediatric clients with sensory processing difficulties. Occupational therapists play a critical role with this population, and they should not only focus on their intervention methods but also their ability to be an educator and a teacher.



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