The Sensory Profile Assessment (SPA) is used to identify the child's unique sensory preferences and provide tailored intervention strategies. This assessment tool provides a standard method for measuring and reporting sensory processing abilities. The purpose of the profile is to provide a tool for linking performance strengths and barriers with processing sensory information. It is designed for children aged three to ten years and takes 15-20 minutes to administrator. It involves the parent or caregiver of the child completing a 125-item questionnaire, which reports the frequency with which the child responds to various sensory experiences. There is also a 38-item short profile available that takes five minutes to administrator. Once the questionnaire is completed, the summary score sheet is used to obtain a profile of the child's responses.
The items of the sensory profile cover three major sections, including sensory processing, modulation, and behavioral / emotional responses. The purpose of this is to characterize the child in regard to their responsiveness to sensory stimuli, as either sensory seeking, low endurance, inattention / distractibility, sensory sensitivity, fine motor / perceptual, emotional reactive, oral sensory sensitivity, poor registration, or sedentary .
The SPA can be used in conjunction with the Sensory Profile School Companion, which allows schools-based clinicians to evaluate a child's sensory processing skills and how these skills affect their classroom behavior and performance. The results of the SPA may inform both the diagnosis of disorders and / or provide guidance for intervention planning. This assessment is particularly useful for assessing children with autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as children with these disabilities tend to have significant different patterns of processing sensory information than their peers and children in other disability groups.