Document Type


Publication Date



Currently, the emphasis throughout health care is on providing evidence-based practice. Occupational therapy practitioners are involved in critical examination of the profession's assumptions and beliefs and are conducting research that supports its theoretical underpinnings. In many areas of practice, practitioners have created bodies of literature to support interventions; and in other areas, we rely on literature from fields outside of the profession. Pediatric occupational therapy is no exception. Although exciting research is currently under way, existing research from outside the profession supports many of our methods and beliefs. A review of the literature found evidence from both inside and outside the profession that supports the following beliefs of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners: (a) children have individual patterns of processing sensation, and these patterns may affect their behaviors and choices of activities; (b) children have preferred activities, and these preferences vary; and (c) a relationship exists among sensory preferences, play preferences, intrinsic motivation, play performance, and mastery. This article discusses some of this literature and its relevance to occupational therapy practice.