The effects of sensory integrative therapy (SI), perceptual motor training (PM) and no treatment (NT) were compared in 103 children with learning disabilities at the Department of Paediatrics, Division of Neurology and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Canada. After a total of 72 1-hour sessions for 3 hours per week the PM treated subjects showed significant gains over the other 2 groups, primarily in gross motor performance, but without any accompanying carry over into functional activities such as copying ability, printing readiness, attention or organizational skills. SI treated subjects showed improvement in motor planning. Neither therapy resulted in improvement in cognitive, language or academic performance, attention or self-concept. [1]

COMMENT. Although the claim that occupational therapy may directly improve higher level academic, language, and cognitive performance has not been supported by these studies, perceptual motor and sensory integrative therapy appears to have positive effects on motor planning and gross motor functioning. The possible value of these refinements of motor performance in effecting functional ability awaits further evaluation.