Behaviour and Social Skills in Children Aged 3-5: Relationship with Sensory Processing
Margarida Isabel Araújo Oliveira1 and Helena Isabel da Silva Reis2
1Escola Superior de Saúde do Alcoitão, Rua Conde Barão, 2649-506 Alcabideche, Portugal; 2ciTechCare, School of Health Sciences, Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal, Campus 2 – Morro do Lena, Alto do Vieiro – Apartado 4137, 2411-901 Leiria
Abstract: Children with difficulties in sensory regulation show challenges in many areas, including externalized and internalized beahiour problems.
Methods: This study intended to determine the implications of sensory processing in the behaviour and in the social skills of 100 children, aged from 3-5, with typical development, through Sensory Processing Measure and Preschool and Kindergarten Behaviour Scales.
Results: Significant associations were found between sensory processing difficulties and behaviour problems, between the total of the spm-p scale and internalized behaviour problems (p= .000); and the total of the spm-p scale and externalized behaviour problems (p= .000). The study showed a high prevalence of difficulties in sensory processing, not only in the home context but also in kindergarten, in undiagnosed children, with impact on multiple sensory systems. In children with dysfunction in sensory processing, it was possible to detect that hyporesponsive children have greater problems in terms of autonomy and the hiper-responsive ones have more difficulties in behaviour regulation.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the higher difficulties in sensory processing the higher problems in the behavior are manifested in preschool children.
Keywords: Behaviour, Social skills, Preschool, Sensory processing.