The American Journal of Occupational Therapy has published research on children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and social participation. The social participation of twelve children with sensory processing disorder and 12 children without were compared. The results indicated that children with sensory processing disorder exhibit similar response patterns as children without SPD. A significant difference was noted on the enjoyment scale with the children with SPD enjoying the activities more than the typically developing peers. They particularly enjoyed skill based (formal activities such as sport lessons) and recreational based (informal play i.e. playground) activities. Children with SPD did not prefer highly structured games or games with rules.
The children without SPD had a larger social circle to interact with beyond the immediate family.
Although there are many limitations to this study (i.e. small sample size, how the children were diagnosed with SPD, etc.), the results indicate that the social participation of children with SPD may not be significantly influenced by SPD.
Reference: Joanna Cosbey, Susan S. Johnston and Louise Dunn. Sensory Processing Disorders and Social Participation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy May/June 2010 vol. 64 no. 3 462-473