Therapists are constantly answering this question - are behaviors in children sensory based? There are different ways of finding an answer to this question. One quick tool to start with is the Motivation Assessment Scale. This was developed by V. Mark Durrand PhD and Daniel B Crimmins PhD in 1986. It consists of 16 questions regarding behavior. After the questions are answered with a 0-6 scale of never to always, the test is scored. The question responses are then broken down into 4 categories - sensory, escape, attention and tangible. The category with the highest score is most likely related to the behavior.
View a copy of the Motivation Assessment Scale
More information on the Motivation Assessment Scale.