Proprioceptive Processing Difficulties Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities

Publication Date


Document Type



Occupational Therapy


Developmental Neuroscience | Psychiatric and Mental Health

Publication Title

American Journal of Occupational Therapy


OBJECTIVE. Sensory processing difficulties among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been extensively documented. However, less is known about this population’s ability to process proprioceptive information.

METHOD. We used the Comprehensive Observations of Proprioception (COP; Blanche, Bodison, Chang, & Reinoso, in press) to describe the proprioceptive difficulties experienced by children with ASD. A sample of 32 children with ASD, 26 children with developmental disabilities excluding ASD, and 28 typically developing control children were studied using the COP.

RESULTS. Children with ASD present with proprioceptive processing difficulties that are different from those of children with developmental disabilities and their typically developing counterparts. Specific data, potential clinical applications, and directions for future research are described.

CONCLUSION. Results suggest that the COP has useful clinical research applications. Further assessment of psychometric properties, clinical utility, and meaningful differences among diverse clinical populations are needed.


autistic disorder, developmental disabilities, feedback, sensory, proprioception, somatosensory disorders


SJSU users: Use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.