Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Elsass, Angela

Committee Member/Reader

Glade, Rachel


Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to sensory information, which can lead to sensory dysregulation (Rodden, 2023). Because everyone constantly receives sensory input, having SPD can impact a child’s life in numerous ways, such as academic and social success. Research indicates that 5% to 16% of students may have this neurological condition (Bunim, 2013), which is significant enough to expect that school professionals have appropriate awareness about SPD. Additionally, there is usually an overlap of professionals who serve students experiencing SPD, resulting in a need for interprofessional collaboration (IPC) among the school support team. This study aims to answer: What is the level of awareness of SPD among professionals in elementary school settings in Arkansas? and To what degree do professionals use interprofessional collaboration (IPC) while working with a child who experiences SPD in an elementary school setting? This study included two facets: (1) a survey to measure the awareness of SPD and degree of IPC, and (2) observations in an elementary public school. A survey titled Measuring Awareness of SPD in an Elementary School Setting was sent to Arkansas educational cooperatives for distribution to professionals who work in elementary schools. There were 44 questions, with most on a Likert-based scale. The researcher also observed an occupational therapist (OT) for six weeks. A total of ten students were observed. Of the participants, 25% have taken college coursework addressing SPD. Additionally, 42.6% have attended professional training specifically addressing SPD. Data show 35.4% agree or strongly agree in feeling confident about their ability to recognize behaviors that may indicate SPD. There were 57.4% indicating they agree or strongly agree about familiarity with SPD. Also, 66.7% strongly agree or agree that they are familiar with interprofessional collaboration and 41.6% have received training on this topic. Despite these low percentages, 91.7% agree or strongly agree that they collaborate with other professionals in an academic setting to improve intervention of a student. The investigator concludes a basic level of awareness about SPD among professionals in elementary schools in Arkansas. This awareness could be strengthened through college coursework and professional training that specifically addresses SPD. There should be more awareness on strategies to support students and address behaviors that SPD may present. The investigator concludes that interprofessional practices are being used by Arkansas educators. However, a focus for training on SPD and importance of this practice should be emphasized in elementary school settings.


Sensory processing disorder, elementary school setting, awareness, academic success, behavior, strategies.