Claudia Hilton

Claudia Hilton
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston | UTMB · Department of Occupational Therapy

PhD, MBA, OTR, FAOTA

About

71
Publications
19,950
Reads
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1,341
Citations
Introduction
I am a scientist and therapist recognized for research examining issues related to participation in various life activities by autistic people. I spent over 10 years as an occupational therapist working with autistic children. My studies have examined differences in activity participation, flourishing, motor impairment, sensory responsiveness and social responsiveness between autistic and non-autistic children and interventions addressing these concerns.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Position
  • Professor
August 2013 - May 2019
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
May 2010 - June 2013
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
This study examined differences in out-of-school activity participation between typically developing children and those with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASD). Children with HFASD, ages 6 to 12 (N = 52), and a control group (N = 53) were assessed using the Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment and the Social Responsi...
Article
Full-text available
Although motor impairment is frequently observed in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the manner in which these impairments aggregate in families affected by autism is unknown. We used a standardized measure of motor proficiency to objectively examine quantitative variation in motor proficiency in sibling pairs concordant and discordan...
Article
Full-text available
Date Presented 4/17/2015 This presentation describes findings of improved response speed, executive function, and motor skills in a pilot study examining the effects of participating in the Makoto Arena (an exergame) on 17 high-functioning, school-age children with autism spectrum disorder.
Article
Flourishing is an indicator of positive mental health and is important for children's development and well‐being. We used variables from the National Survey of Children's Health 2016 as indicators of flourishing (difficulty making friends, is bullied, bullies others, shares ideas with family, argues, finishes tasks, does all homework, shows curiosi...
Article
Full-text available
Leisure activity participation is important for health and well-being. This study examined similarities and differences between typically developing children and those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from 6 to 17 years old in physical, recreational, social, skill, and jobs/chores activities from a large national database. Findings revealed tha...
Article
Full-text available
Background COVID-19 pandemic causes psychological problems such as stress. It is important to accurately identify the level of stress and establish effective intervention. The Impact of Event Scale-6 (IES-6) is widely used for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screening by measuring the level of subjective stress, but there has been no research...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a 25-week school-based intervention and its ability to improve interoception and emotion regulation in an autistic pediatric population. Method: One-group pre- and posttest design implementing The Interoception Curriculum: A Guide to Developing Mindful Self-Regu...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeThe purpose of this study was to use modern measurement techniques and create a precise functional status metric for Asian adults.Methods The study subjects included Asian American adults from the 2012 Health and Retirement Study (n = 211), Chinese adults in the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (n = 13,649), and Korean adults i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness caused by traumatic events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Accurate diagnosis of this disorder is critical to establish effective intervention approaches. The Impact of Event Scale-6 (IES-6) is widely used for PTSD screening, but there has been no research on its psychometric pro...
Conference Paper
Date Presented 04/6/21 Individuals who participate in meaningful occupations have higher quality of life and more satisfaction with life and are physically and mentally healthier. Using a retrospective cross-sectional design, we examined predictors of participation difficulty in children with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability in...
Conference Paper
Date Presented 04/6/21 Recreation and leisure participation are important for physical and mental well-being. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate lower well-being. This study examined the impact of emotional regulation and social skills on participation in leisure in a large dataset. Results indicated a significant relations...
Article
Full-text available
Greater understanding can increase our knowledge and intervention effectiveness for activity participation problems of children with disabilities. We examined participation difficulties of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) in the 2011 Survey of Pathway to Diagnosis and Services. We utilized propensity...
Article
Importance: This systematic review summarizes existing studies on dry needling for spasticity and range of motion (ROM) and discusses its potential for use as an occupational therapy intervention. Objective: To examine existing studies on the effects of dry needling on spasticity and ROM. Data sources: Article citations and abstracts from Scop...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: This systematic review examined the association of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) with quality of life (QoL) for pediatric oncology patients, for potential use in occupational therapy practice. Methods: Articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 2002-2019 from PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, American Journal of Occupational Ther...
Article
Date Presented 03/26/20 Individuals with ASD frequently have difficulty with executive function (EF) and fitness. EF contributes to success in school and work and allows people to manage the stresses of and barriers to daily life activities. Participation in a daily physical exercise program significantly improved executive function and fitness amo...
Poster
Date Presented 03/26/20 The 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services includes 15 sensory items that could inform tailored therapeutic interventions established by OTs. However, these items have not been validated as a measure. Based on psychometric analyses, this study concluded that all 15 items were adequately explained by the general se...
Article
Importance: Few studies examining the use of peers during interventions have been published, and no systematic review has been conducted to evaluate the available literature. Objective: To examine the effectiveness of social skills interventions incorporating peers for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to improve social...
Article
Objective: To evaluate item-factor structures of the 15 sensory items from the Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (Pathways) and examine the best fitting model. Methods: The study subjects were 1,968 children aged 6-17 years, who had ever been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Intellectual Disability (ID). Factor analys...
Poster
Date Presented 04/04/19 Leisure activity participation is important for health and well-being. This study examined differences between children with autism spectrum disorders and controls from 6 to 17 years old in a large national database. An increasing disparity among many types of leisure participation was seen as age increased. This reinforces...
Conference Paper
Date Presented 04/06/19 Flourishing, an indicator of positive mental health, is important for children’s development and well-being. Behavioral contributors to flourishing, independent of environment, were examined in a large data set of children from age 6 to 17 years. Children with ASD had significantly lower odds of flourishing and demonstrating...
Article
In 2015, over 21 million refugees were displaced worldwide. A significant issue faced by this population is occupational deprivation – being deprived of engagement in meaningful activities. Despite this being a global problem, information on interventions that address occupational deprivation has not been synthesized. To bridge this gap, we conduct...
Article
This systematic review examines the efficacy of yoga as a neuromuscular intervention for community-dwelling populations at risk for falls to determine its utility for use in occupational therapy intervention. Populations included older adults and adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebrovascular accident (CVA), dementia and Alzheimer’s dise...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster describes changes in executive function and physical fitness of adolescents with autism spectrum disorders after participating in a daily exercise program for one school year.
Article
Background: Preterm infants are exposed to a variety of sensory stimuli that they are not developmentally prepared to handle, which puts them at risk for developing a sensory processing disorder. However, the patterns and predictors of sensory processing disorder and their relationship to early behavior at term equivalent age are poorly understood...
Article
Date Presented 3/31/2017 This study used a linear regression model to examine the ability of sensory responsiveness patterns to predict social severity in children with autism spectrum disorder. Findings substantiated sensory quadrant scores as contributors to strong predictive models of social responsiveness. Primary Author and Speaker: Claudia Hi...
Article
Background: Preterm infants are exposed to a variety of sensory stimuli that they are not developmentally prepared to handle, which puts them at risk for developing a sensory processing disorder. However, the patterns and predictors of sensory processing disorder and their relationship to early behavior at term equivalent age are poorly understood....
Article
Full-text available
This study examined sensory responsiveness in unaffected siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and associations between sensory responsiveness and social severity. Sensory Profile Caregiver Questionnaires and Social Responsiveness Scales were completed by parents of 185 children between age 4 and 10.95 years. Significant differen...
Article
Date Presented 4/10/2016 The enjoyment experienced during engagement in certain leisure activities is not consistent between typically developing children and those with autism spectrum disorder. This paper describes research findings about those differences and their implications for treatment. Primary Author and Speaker: Claudia Hilton Additional...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Early intervention in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) improve prognosis. Although instruments can be translated, adapted and validated their performance is suboptimal compared to the original studies. The need to design culturally and context appropriate instruments for earlier assessment of Hispanic children with autism...
Article
Objective: To investigate changes in head lag across postmenstrual age and define associations between head lag and (1) perinatal exposures and (2) neurodevelopment. Method: Sixty-four infants born ≤30 wk gestation had head lag assessed before and at term-equivalent age. Neurobehavior was assessed at term age. At 2 yr, neurodevelopmental testing...
Article
Full-text available
Although not included as core characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), children with this diagnosis often experience executive function and motor impairments. This study investigated the use of a speed-based exergame called the Makoto arena as an intervention strategy to improve executive function (EF) and motor performance in in 17 scho...
Article
Enjoyment is a fundamental component of activity participation. This study compared leisure activity enjoyment experienced by typically developing children (TD; n = 64) and those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD; n = 67) from age 6 to 13. The TD children enjoyed formal and physical activities significantly more than the children with ASD. Sympto...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the role of occupational therapy in supporting children’s social participation. It examines diagnostic categories of children for whom social participation can be problematic and describes various theories explaining the basis for these impairments. It describes types of social goals, approaches, and strategies to help practi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Although not included in the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), executive dysfunction (Pennington & Ozonoff, 1996), motor impairment (David et al., 2009; Dzuik, et al., 2007; Ghaziuddin and Butler, 1998; Ming et al., 2007) and visual motor integration (Hellinckx, Roeyers & Van Waelvelde, 2013; Sachse et al. 2013) h...
Article
Executive function (EF) and motor deficits have consistently been documented in studies of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated the effects of a pilot 30-session Makoto arena training intervention, a light and sound speed-based exergame, on response speed, EF, and motor skills in school-aged children with ASD. Strong correla...
Article
Full-text available
We reviewed 11 articles, including efficacy and effectiveness studies, addressing intervention effectiveness for children and youth published in 2012 in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and organized them by level and type of research according to a framework adapted from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and H...
Article
Full-text available
We reviewed 12 articles from 2012 that addressed development and testing of instruments for children and youths and American Journal of Occupational Therapy articles from 2009-2013 that addressed 11 activity and participation instruments to determine how well this group of instruments facilitates the generation of evidence sufficient to support pra...
Chapter
This chapter will introduce the reader to the issue of abuse against women with disabilities as an example of occupational injustice. This particular area of research was explored because of the authors’ mutual passion regarding the empowerment of women and the consideration of environmental influences that support or hinder the empowerment of wome...
Article
Full-text available
The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) questionnaire is a brief measure available in Spanish which needs to be validated for the Mexican population. Parents of children from (1) community with typical development (TD) and (2) psychiatric outpatient unit completed the CBCL/1.5-5 and the Mexican/MM-CHAT-version. The study sample consi...
Article
We reviewed 22 articles on children and youth published in 2011 in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and organized the articles by level of research and research type according to a framework adapted from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2007). The largest percentage...
Article
Molecular Psychiatry publishes work aimed at elucidating biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders and their treatment
Chapter
Although sensory processing and motor abnormalities are not among the three pathognomonic features of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), many studies have found children with autism to have a higher incidence of both compared to the typically developing population. Atypical sensory processing may limit partici...
Conference Paper
Background: For children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), atypical sensory responsiveness is much more common than among children unaffected with ASD. Although numerous studies have examined the social abilities of siblings of children with ASD, none have examined their sensory characteristics. An aggregation of sub clinical autistic social im...
Article
This study examined the impact of participation in a wellness assignment on healthy habit changes in pre-professional undergraduate students. Participants consisted of 58 students enrolled in an undergraduate occupational science health and wellness course. Students were given an assignment to alter three to five habits that would improve their wel...
Article
This study examines the relationship between sensory responsiveness and social severity in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASD; N = 36) and age-matched controls (N = 26) between 6 and 10 years old. Significant relationships were found between social responsiveness scale scores and each of the six sensory profile sensory...
Conference Paper
Background: Studies of unaffected family members of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have revealed an aggregation of sub clinical autistic social impairment among these individuals suggesting the possibility that such impairment constitutes an autism endophenotype. Since previous studies have found children with autism to have a high i...
Chapter
In this chapter, assessment and intervention to address the development of social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders has been discussed. Ideas for intervention based on a review of available literature have been provided that addresses individualized intervention and social skills groups. In addition, the design of a social skills pr...
Chapter
In this chapter, information on the development of self-care skills, including dressing, feeding, toileting, and personal hygiene, and sleeping are described for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Ideas for occupational therapy interventions based on a review of the literature are provided. Although few empirical studies have been done...
Article
Full-text available
African American children with autism are seriously under-represented in existing genetic registries and biomedical research studies of autism. We estimated the number of African American children with autism in the St. Louis region using CDC surveillance data and present the outcomes of a concerted effort to enroll approximately one-third of that...
Article
At the American Occupational Therapy Association's Annual Conference in 1999, the Representative Assembly passed Resolution J, which became Resolution 670–99 and mandated that entry to the professional level of practice in occupational therapy be at the post-baccalaureate degree level. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (A...
Article
Full-text available
A possible hormonal influence in language development has been suggested in the recent years. The 2D:4D finger ratio is an indirect measure for prenatal androgen exposure. It is negatively related to prenatal testosterone and positively related to prenatal estrogen, resulting in a lower ratio for men and a larger ratio for women. It can be explored...
Conference Paper
Background: Although diagnostic criteria for autism does not include sensory processing deficits, literature describes many sensory processing abnormalities for these children. Researchers have identified modulation difficulties including both hyposensitivities and hypersensitivities to a variety of sensory stimuli in children with autism (Dunn, Sm...
Article
This article explores domestic violence against women with disabilities from an occupational justice perspective. Domestic violence against these women warrants special attention because they are abused at rates equal to or greater than women without disabilities and they experience disability‐specific forms of abuse. The discussion adds to the bod...
Conference Paper
Background: Dunn (2001) conceptualized atypical sensory processing as four discrete patterns of atypical responses in which individual respond either passively or actively in relation to their sensory thresholds: low registration, sensation seeking, sensory sensitivity, and sensation avoiding. Correlations between severity of social responsiveness...
Article
This study examined the correlation between severity and motor impairment in children with Asperger syndrome (AS). Children, ages 6–12 with AS (N = 51) and a control group of typical children (N = 56), were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Movement Assessment Battery For Children (MABC). A bivariate correlational design...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeThis study examines the relationship between social competence and sensory processing in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders.MethodologyChildren, ages 6–10 (N = 36), with high functioning autism spectrum disorders were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Sensory Profile (SP). A bivariate correlat...
Article
The Dance of Life: The other dimension of time Edward T. Hall. 1983. Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/ Doubleday. 232 pp.
Article
Because the prevalence of disability increases proportionately with age, the expanding population of older adults is potentially the largest single group to benefit from the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (Public Law 101-336). One fourth of elderly persons have functional disabilities acquired through age-related chronic and acute co...
Article
As the occupational therapy profession embraces the developing occupational science, several occupational therapy educational programs are incorporating a baccalaureate degree in occupational science into their educations programs (1). This paper presentation describes one of the courses offered in such a program to address the area of context. The...
Article
Life-styles or habits have been identified as being responsible for 54% of the reduction in lifespan of those under the age of 65 (McGinnis & Foege, 1994). Habits are significant learned behaviors embedded in an co-cultural context with which they engage in a dialectical relationship (Yerxa, 2002). Occupational science needs to further its understa...

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Project (1)
Project
Physical Exercise and Contributors to Academic Performance among Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aims to expand our understanding of the impact of regular physical exercise on improvement in academic performance. We are focusing on the use of affordable, portable, and achievable interventions that can be easily shared and incorporated into other academic and home settings. The study will examine the use a regular vigorous exercise program for helping students with ASD reduce body mass index and improve executive function, motor performance, sensory responsiveness, mood and classroom behaviors. We are collaborating with an area school to conduct an 18-month exploratory pilot study of 30 middle- and high-school aged students (12 to 18 years old) with ASD, who are returning participants or are new to participating in a daily exercise program at the school. We expect that the changes elicited by participation in this type of exercise program will support the formation of adult life skills, impacting on long-term quality of life for individuals with ASD.