Journal of Taiwan Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Objective: Over the past two decades, the practice of occupational therapy in school system has flourished in Taiwan. No current research investigates the general performance of children referred to occupational therapy with special need. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine children's motor skills, visual-motor integration abilities, sensory processing and functional performance. Methods: One hundred and forty three subjects from 39 elementary schools were received the evaluation of occupational therapists (60.1% males). Standardized assessments, including the Movement Assessment Battery for Children and Visual Motor Integration, were implemented by occupational therapists. Parents or teachers were asked to fill out the Sensory Profile and the Pediatric Functional Performance Scales. Results: The results indicated that more than 90% subjects had motor coordination impairment; 76.1% subjects had visual-motor integration deficits; among sensory processing, the majority of subjects suffered from fine motor/visual perception disorder and hypersensitivity problems. Subjects in special classes had poorer functional performance then those in regular classes. Three significant predictors (balance from M-ABC, VMI and sensory registration from SP) were found to explain 50.4% of the variance in daily functional performance by multivariance stepwise regression analysis. In sum, subjects referred to occupational therapists by teachers suffered from apparent disorders in motor skills, visual motor integration abilities, sensory processing deficits, and functional performance problems. Conclusion: Hence, the comprehensive service of occupational therapy profession in school system is warranted.