Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Rachel Diamant PhD, OTR/L


Children who have experienced trauma have difficulty with behavioral self-regulation which effects social participation, play, and academics (Petrenchik & Weiss, 2015). Young children learn through exploration of their environment and gather information from the senses of taste, sight, touch, smell, sound, proprioception, and body movement (vestibular). As sensory information is gathered, the brain and body organize and interpret these sensations. The manner in which these senses are experienced determine which sensory experiences are preferred, and the nature of behavioral reactions. Children who have experienced trauma have difficulty managing stress, emotions, and daily routines. In the community occupational therapists can encourage meaningful activity, create supportive relationships, and collaborate with community treatment centers or organizations to provide needed services (Petrenchik & Weiss, 2015). Thus, children who have experienced trauma may benefit from sensory-motor-based strategies to learn skills for behavioral self-regulation.