Clinical Data

Clinical Data

In the 1990’s Claudie Pomares, MSc. MSEd., used the existing research on Environmental Enrichment to develop a program of Sensory Enrichment to help children with special needs.

After 20 years of consistent results, two randomized controlled trials, and an Intent to treat analysis of 1,002 children with autism have now been published validating Sensory Enrichment Therapy™ for autism.

Clinically Proven Therapy

In randomized controlled trials, 42% of children with autism had a clinically significant improvement with Sensory Enrichment Therapy, compared to 7% in the group who only had standard care

In randomized control trials, children who added Sensory Enrichment therapy to their existing programs were 6X more likely to improve by 5 points or more on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

21% of Sensory Enrichment Therapy children fell below the autism cutoff score after 6 months

Remarkably, 21% of the children in the Sensory Enrichment group moved up by one whole diagnostic classification on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

The first randomized controlled trial at UCI

Certified and experienced professionals administered tests of cognitive performance and autism severity to both groups at the initiation of the study and after six months.

All the children continued to receive standard care​

In the first randomized controlled trial of this new autism therapy, 3 to 12-year-old children with classic autism were assigned to either a sensory enrichment group, which received daily olfactory/tactile stimulation along with exercises that stimulated other paired sensory modalities, or to a control group.​

Environmental Enrichment as Effective Treatment for Autism - Michael Leon and Cynthia Woo - page 6

This study was published in 2013 and won the D.G. Marquis Award from the American Psychological Association.​

Download and read the first autism therapy study

The first randomized controlled trial at UCI

Environmental Enrichment as Effective Treatment for Autism - Michael Leon and Cynthia Woo - page 6

Certified and experienced professionals administered tests of cognitive performance and autism severity to both groups at the initiation of the study and after six months.

All the children continued to receive standard care​

In the first randomized controlled trial of this new autism therapy, 3 to 12-year-old children with classic autism were assigned to either a sensory enrichment group, which received daily olfactory/tactile stimulation along with exercises that stimulated other paired sensory modalities, or to a control group.​

This study was published in 2013 and won the D.G. Marquis Award from the American Psychological Association.​

Download and read the first autism therapy study

Results of the first study

 

Severity of autism, as assessed with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, improved significantly in the enriched group compared to controls.

Results showed that after 6 months of therapy 42% of the children in the Sensory Enrichment group achieved clinically significant improvement of 5 points on that scale, compared to only 7% of the children in the standard care group.

Sensory Enrichment also produced a clear improvement in cognition, as determined by their Leiter-R Visualization and Reasoning scores.

Increase in IQ with Sensory Enrichment Therapy

At six months, the change in average IQ scores for the children in the enriched group was 11.3 points higher than that of the children in the control group.

The Replication Study at UCI

In a second randomized clinical trial of this autism therapy, the University of California Irvine research team was able to replicate and expand on the results of the first study with twice as many children.

All the children continued to receive standard care​

The parents of children with classic autism, aged 3 to 6 years old, gave them either standard care along with daily sensory enrichment therapy, or they received standard care alone.

Environmental Enrichment as a Therapy for Autism- A Clinical Trial Replication and Extension - Woo Leon - page 8

This study was published in 2015 in “Behavioral Neuroscience.”​

Download and read the replication autism therapy study

The Replication Study at UCI

Environmental Enrichment as a Therapy for Autism- A Clinical Trial Replication and Extension - Woo Leon - page 8

In a second randomized clinical trial of this autism therapy, the University of California Irvine research team was able to replicate and expand on the results of the first study with twice as many children.

All the children continued to receive standard care​

The parents of children with classic autism, aged 3 to 6 years old, gave them either standard care along with daily sensory enrichment therapy, or they received standard care alone.

This study was published in 2015 in “Behavioral Neuroscience.”​

Download and read the replication autism therapy study

Results of the replication study

 

After six months, the children in the Sensory Enrichment group showed greater gains in their I.Q. scores (+8.4 points), compared to the gains showed by children in standard care alone (+1.5 points) after six months, as assessed by the Leiter-R test.

The children in the Sensory Enrichment group also demonstrated greater reductions in their atypical sensory responses (+11.4 points) compared to the children receiving standard care (+2.9 points), as determined by the Short Sensory Profile.

Sensory enrichment improvements in cognitive function

Change in IQ score (Leiter)

Change in Short Sensory Profile

In addition, children in the Sensory Enrichment group improved their receptive language, as assessed by the Reynell Developmental Language Scales, by 7.42% in six months, compared to children in the standard care group, who improved by 3.63% during that period.

Remarkably, 21% of the children in the Sensory Enrichment group who initially had been classified as having classic autism using the AutismDiagnostic Observation Schedule improved to a level below the autism classification cut-off. None of the children in the control group improved to that extent.

Improvements in Receptive Language

Change in Receptive Language

21% children lost their autism diagnosis

21% of Sensorimotor-Enriched children and 0% of Standard-Care children fell below the autism cutoff score after 6 months

A Study with 1,002 Subjects

1,002 subjects were recruited to initiate the treatment. Mean age: 7.37 years Age ranged between 1 and 18 years 796 boys and 206 girls 752 lived in the USA 239 were international residents, (11 unknown)

Progress rate was similar across all age groups, including older teens

590 autism 41 Asperger’s 31 PDD 18 ADHD 10 global developmental delay 42 other 271 no formal diagnosis

Environmental Enrichment Therapy for Autism Outcomes with Increased Access - Aronoff, Hillyer, Leon - page 5

This study was published in 2016 in “Neural Plasticity.”​

Download and read the study

A Study with 1,002 Subjects

Environmental Enrichment Therapy for Autism Outcomes with Increased Access - Aronoff, Hillyer, Leon - page 5

1,002 subjects were recruited to initiate the treatment. Mean age: 7.37 years Age ranged between 1 and 18 years 796 boys and 206 girls 752 lived in the USA 239 were international residents, (11 unknown)

Progress rate was similar across all age groups, including older teens

590 autism 41 Asperger’s 31 PDD 18 ADHD 10 global developmental delay 42 other 271 no formal diagnosis

This study was published in 2016 in “Neural Plasticity.”​

Download and read the study
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