Wilbarger Protocol for Sensory Processing Disorders in Children

Key Findings

A lack of high-quality evidence currently exists to support or refute the use of the Wilbarger protocol with children with a sensory processing disorder. The Wilbarger protocol should be applied with caution. Emerging evidence from these studies warrants future research on this topic. Clinicians are advised to use clear outcome measures when using the Wilbarger protocol with clients and their families.


Weeks, S., Boshoff, K., & Stewart, H. (2012). Systematic review of the effectiveness of the Wilbarger protocol with children. Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics3, 79-89.



More EBP

ConditionSensory Processing
InterventionWilbarger Protocol
VariablesBehavior, Regulation, Compliance
EvidenceYellow – Caution
MethodsSystematic Review
  • Green evidence (Go) –  high-quality evidence indicating effectiveness.
  • Yellow evidence (Caution/Measure) – insufficient evidence exists.
  • Red evidence (Stop) – high-quality evidence indicating ineffectiveness.



Before implementing any new intervention with a client, occupational therapy practitioners should be aware of the potential benefits, risks, and harms of the intervention. Occupational therapy practitioners should exercise professional reasoning based on the client’s particular strengths and limitations before providing any intervention. Professional reasoning and judgment is also required when choosing which intervention protocols are feasible for their clients.

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