2.3 Abstract of Future Article

Rational for developing a new instrument

The primary reason we developed this instrument, the Motor Observations, was to build a strong scientific base for the Clinical Observations. The practicing therapists, who used the model of Sensory Integration (S.I.) developed by Dr. A. Jean Ayres, were using a version of her Clinical Observations which in its totality, had not been scientifically investigated. It was a tribute to Dr. Ayres’ choice of items that the Clinical Observations were such an important diagnostic tool for therapists, even without the statistics. Thus our key reason for beginning this project was to make it an even more useful instrument, scientifically-based, that could be used in confidence. Also it would also be possible with this test to evaluate change due to various types of intervention, especially Sensory Integration therapy.


Our goal is to provide a statistically sound instrument for a full range of motor performances. This is a comprehensive instrument developed using the Sensory Integration Frame of Reference.The Motor Observations is a diagnostic tool that categorizes 1) problems in normal motor developmental and 2) problems in the ability to integrate sensory information. It is a scientific tool to determine change in response to Sensory Integration therapy, as well as in various other interventions.


All items were re-developed on a five point scale. Three items from Ayres' theoretical frame of reference were developed to measure tactile comfort, gravitational security, and motor planning. Four items necessary for school readiness were added (activity level; concentration, attention and distractibility; and understanding a spoken instruction). Data was collected on a random convenience sample in the Netherlands and in America. SPSS version 10-15 was used for analysis.