Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Bernard Austin Muriithi, PhD, OTR/L


The purpose of this capstone project was to develop a sensory-based program for occupational therapists to assist in mitigating the effects of ACEs in children. This sensory- based program was implemented at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, an acute inpatient psychiatric facility. Interventions were provided and information collected over a period of 10 weeks on children ages 5–12 years (N=54), Additionally, feedback from four therapy and staff members was also collected over the same period. Several tools were used as outcome measures, including pre-and post-intervention questionnaires for participants, observation questionnaire and staff/nurses/therapist feedback questionnaire. The results demonstrated that there was significant improvement in knowledge of self-regulation strategies and in the use of sensory-based activities to calm down and self-regulate. Additionally, it was noted that there were fewer cases of restraint and seclusion during the implementation of the project. This project demonstrates the need for sensory-based interventions in a behavioral health center for children with trauma histories. This project can be used to guide more future controlled clinical trials and/or can be replicated by practitioners seeking to decrease behavioral problems for children with ACEs.