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The Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile

The Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (Brown & Dunn, 2002) is a standardized assessment that measures sensory processing among adolescents and adults, ages 11 years and up. It elicits information about the adolescent’s or adult’s responsiveness to various sensory stimuli and identifies processing deficits in the sensory systems that may inhibit the individual from participating in daily activities.

Overview

The profile is a judgment-based self-questionnaire consisting of 60 items rated for frequency of the behavior at home or in the community. Items use a 5-point Likert scale and inquire about Taste/Smell Processing, Movement Processing, Visual Processing, Touch Processing, Activity Level, and Auditory Processing. As with the other Sensory Profile assessments, it is to be scored by an occupational therapist or professional trained in sensory processing theory. Items are factored into four sections based on Dunn’s Model of Sensory Processing: Low Registration, Sensation Seeking, Sensory Sensitivity, and Sensation Avoiding. Scores that fall within one standard deviation of the mean for each category represent “Typical Performance.” Scores that fall between one to two standard deviations below the mean fall into the “Probable Difference” category. Finally, scores that fall more than two scores below the mean indicate a “Definite Difference.” Scores that fall in the probable or definite difference categories may warrant intervention. The scores are placed on a grid that visually represents how the individual’s sensory processing is compared to that of typical adolescents or adults ranging from “Much Less Than Most People” to “Much More Than Most People.” The Adolescent/Adult form is a unique sensory measure in that it is a self-questionnaire.

Summary

Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Adolescent/ Adult Sensory Profile Brown & Dunn (2002) 11-plus

Criterion-referenced, judgment based self-report questionnaire of 60 items

Yields scores on frequency of exhibited behaviors based on a Likert scale of 1-5, from “Almost Never” to “Almost Always.” Scores are summed according to four sensory quadrants (Low Registration, Sensation Seeking, Sensory Sensitivity, and Sensation Avoiding). Scores given in relation to distance above and below the mean
15-20 min.

Taste/ Smell Sensitivity;

Movement Processing;

Visual Processing;

Touch Processing;

Activity Level;

Auditory Processing

Availability: Pearson, http://bit.ly/1Q12vP2

Research

Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Ermer & Dunn (1998) 38: Autism 61: ADHD - Age Range: 3-15 years Validity of Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile, Sensory Profile, Short Sensory Profile, Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile

Discriminant analysis: MANCOVA – 85% of items differentiated between autism and non-autism;

90% of cases correctly identified:

Disabilities vs. without disabilities – only significant discriminator: inattention/distractibility

AU/PDD vs. ADHD – discriminators: sensory seeking, oral sensory, sensitivity, fine-motor/ perceptual

Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Kientz & Dunn (1997) 32 - Age Range: 3-10 years Validity of Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile, Sensory Profile, Short Sensory Profile, Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile

82% of participants demonstrated some degree of sensory processing difficulty, Pearson’s Correlation analyses: SSP/DBC-P and SSP/VABS maladaptive behavior – strongly negatively associated, positive correlation between total SSP and VABS daily living skills

Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Watling, Deitz, & White (2001) 40 - Age Range: 3-6 years Validity of Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile, Sensory Profile, Short Sensory Profile, Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile

Factor analysis: Scores of children with autism were significantly different from those of children without autism on 8 of 10 factors

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