Sensory integrative dysfunction in a young schizophrenic girl

  • A. Jean Ayres
  • William M. Heskett


A case study is presented of a 7-year-old schizophrenic child with learning disorders, poor sensory perception, disordered postural responses, adversive responses to certain types of sensory stimuli, and cognitive deficiencies. Central to the rationale underlying the intervention program was the premise that integration of somatosensory and vestibular sensory input are critical to perceptual-motor, cognitive and psychic growth. Treatment stressed careful use of tactile and vestibular stimulation with the gradual development of more mature and comprehensive postural responses and the ability to plan nonhabitual movements. Post-treatment testing showed considerable gains in IQ, on tests of perceptual-motor and auditory-language functions, and on reading. Fear of posturally threatening situations was reduced. Comparable growth was made in social-emotional development.


Intervention Program Sensory Input Sensory Perception Sensory Stimulus Postural Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bender, L. Schizophrenia in childhood-its recognition, description, and treatment.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1956,26, 449–506.Google Scholar
  2. Colbert, E. G., Koegler, R. R., & Markham, C. H. Vestibular dysfunction in childhood schizophrenia.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1959,1, 600–617.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Davis, A. M., & Ware, C. B. Sensory stimulation in the treatment of the psychotic child.Physical Therapy, 1967,47, 383–384.Google Scholar
  4. Fish, B. Contributions of developmental research to a theory of schizophrenia. In J. Hellmuth (Ed.),Exceptional infant. Vol. 2. Studies in abnormalities. New York: Brunner-Mazel, 1971.Google Scholar
  5. Fish, B., Shapiro, T., Halpern, F., & Wile, R. A prediction of schizophrenia in infancy: III. A ten-year follow-up report of neurological and psychological development.American Journal of Psychiatry, 1965,121, 768–775.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Goldfarb, W., Goldfarb, N., & Pollack, R. C. Changes in IQ of schizophrenic children during residential treatment.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1969,21, 673–690.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ornitz, E. M. Vestibular dysfunction in schizophrenia and childhood autism.Comprehensive Psychiatry, 1970,11, 159–173.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Pollack, M., & Krieger, H. P. Oculomotor and postural patterns in schizophrenic children.Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 1958,79, 720–726.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Prescott, J. W. A developmental neural-behavioral theory of socialization. Paper presented at the conference of the American Psychological Association, Miami Beach, September 1970.Google Scholar
  10. Rimland, B.Infantile autism. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1964.Google Scholar
  11. Schilder, P. The vestibular apparatus in neurosis and psychosis.Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1933,78, 1–23, 137–164.Google Scholar
  12. Schilder, P.Contributions to developmental neuropsychiatry. New York: International Universities Press, 1964.Google Scholar
  13. Schopler, E. Early infantile autism and receptor processes.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1965,13, 327–335.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Silver, A. A., & Gabriel, H. P. The association of schizophrenia in childhood with primitive postural responses and decreased muscle tone.Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 1964,6, 495–497.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Scripta Publishing Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Jean Ayres
    • 1
  • William M. Heskett
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.San Joaquin School DistrictIrvine

Personalised recommendations