University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Stefanie Bodison OTD, OTR/L, C/NDT

Stefanie Bodison

Assistant Professor of Research

Room: CHP 222E
(310) 990-3729
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Download Curriculum Vitae


Stefanie Bodison is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has been specializing in sensorimotor and neurodevelopmental intervention techniques with children for more than 20 years. The populations with which she has particular interest include typically developing children and those with autism, developmental dyspraxia, cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder and learning disabilities. Dr. Bodison's current research focuses on the use of multimodal imaging techniques (MRI, fMRI and DTI) to investigate the neural mechanisms of sensorimotor integration in typically developing children and those with a variety of neurodevelopmental conditions.
Dr. Bodison recently completed a KL2 Mentored Career Development Award from the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Southern California (NIH/NCRR/NCATS #KL2TR000131). From 2011 to 2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Training in Rehabilitation Efficacy and Effectiveness Trials, a NIH-funded T32 Postdoctoral Training Program at the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Therapy (1T32 HD64578-1A1).
Dr. Bodison specializes in treating children with feeding and oral-motor difficulties, as well as combining sensory integration and Neuro-Developmental Treatment™ techniques to meet the daily living challenges of children with autism, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, sensory integration dysfunction and neuromotor disorders. She has lectured on sensory integration and feeding, eating and swallowing issues in children throughout the United States and internationally, and regularly teaches pediatrics within the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

Research Interests

Dr. Bodison is interested in multidirectional translational research on typically developing children and those with neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research aims to evaluate the efficacy, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions for children with a variety of developmental conditions and inform the broader population of the significant role everyday sensory experiences have on neurodevelopment.
Her research specialties include: Rehabilitation interventions, sensory development in typical children, children with neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, multisensory integration, developmental dyspraxia and learning disabilities.
She is additionally affiliated with the Developmental Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at Children's Hospital Los Angeles ( and Pediatric Therapy Network in Torrance, Calif. (


Master of Science (MS) in Clinical, Biomedical, and Translational Investigations
2017 | University of Southern California

T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Training in Rehabilitation Efficacy and Effectiveness Trials
2013 | University of Southern California

Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2010 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
1993 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Occupational Therapy
1992 | University of Southern California


Book Chapters

Bodison, S., & Mostofsky, S. (2014). Motor control and motor learning processes in autism spectrum disorders. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, S. J. Rogers, & K. A. Pelphrey (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders: Volume 2: Assessment, interventions, and policy (4th ed., pp. 354-377). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Journal Articles

Reynolds, S., Glennon, T. J., Ausderau, K., Bendixen, R. M., Kuhaneck, H. M., Pfeiffer, B., Watling, R., Wilkinson, K., & Bodison, S. C. (2017). Using a multifaceted approach to working with children who have differences in sensory processing and integration. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71, 7102360010p1-7102360010p10. Show abstractHide abstract

Pediatric occupational therapy practitioners frequently provide interventions for children with differences in sensory processing and integration. Confusion exists regarding how best to intervene with these children and about how to describe and document methods. Some practitioners hold the misconception that Ayres Sensory Integration intervention is the only approach that can and should be used with this population. The issue is that occupational therapy practitioners must treat the whole client in varied environments; to do so effectively, multiple approaches to intervention often are required. This article presents a framework for conceptualizing interventions for children with differences in sensory processing and integration that incorporates multiple evidence-based approaches. To best meet the needs of the children and families seeking occupational therapy services, interventions must be focused on participation and should be multifaceted.

Bodison, S. C., Sankare, I., Anaya, H., Booker-Vaughns, J., Miller, A., Williams, P., & Norris, K. (2015). Engaging the community in the dissemination, implementation, and improvement of health-related research. Clinical and Translational Science, 8, 814-819. Show abstractHide abstract

To help maximize the real-world applicability of available interventions in clinical and community healthcare practice, there has been greater emphasis over the past two decades on engaging local communities in health-related research. While there have been numerous successful community-academic partnered collaborations, there continues to be a need to articulate the common barriers experienced during the evolution of these partnerships, and to provide a roadmap for best practices that engage healthcare providers, patients, families, caregivers, community leaders, healthcare systems, public agencies and academic medical centers. To this end, this paper presents a summary of a forum discussion from the 2014 Southern California Dissemination, Implementation and Improvement (DII) Science Symposium, sponsored by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI), University of Southern California (USC) CTSI, and Kaiser Permanente. During this forum, a diverse group of individuals representing multiple constituencies identified four key barriers to success in community-partnered participatory research (CPPR) and discussed consensus recommendations to enhance the development, implementation, and dissemination of community health-related research. In addition, this group identified several ways in which the over 60 NIH funded Clinical and Translational Science Institutes across the country could engage communities and researchers to advance DII science.

Bodison, S. C. (2015). Developmental dyspraxia and the play skills of children with autism. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6905185060p1-6905185060p6. Show abstractHide abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to investigate the impact of developmental dyspraxia on the play skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
METHOD: The praxis abilities of 32 children with ASD (mean age = 7.5 yr) were assessed using two subtests of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests and the Planning and Ideas domain of the Sensory Processing Measure Home Form. Play and leisure skills were measured with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition. Utilizing correlation coefficients, we investigated the relationship between developmental dyspraxia and the play skills of children with ASD.
RESULTS: Children with ASD demonstrated definite dysfunction in imitative praxis abilities, the generation of ideas, and participation in age-appropriate play and leisure activities.
CONCLUSION: Praxis problems in children with ASD greatly affect their successful participation in play and leisure activities.

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, S1-S48. Show abstractHide abstract

The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd edition (hereinafter referred to as "the Framework"), is an official document of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Intended for occupational therapy practitioners and students, other health care professionals, educators, researchers, payers, and consumers, the Framework presents a summary of interrelated constructs that describe occupational therapy practice.

Blanche, E. J., Bodison, S., Chang, M. C., & Reinoso, G. (2012). Development of the Comprehensive Observations of Proprioception (COP): Validity, reliability, and factor analysis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 691-698. Show abstractHide abstract

OBJECTIVE: We developed an observational tool, the Comprehensive Observations of Proprioception (COP), for identifying proprioceptive processing issues in children with developmental disabilities.
METHOD: Development of the COP underwent three phases. First, we developed items representing proprioceptive functions on the basis of an extensive literature review and consultation with occupational therapists. We then established interrater reliability and content, construct, and criterion validity. Finally, we completed a factor analysis of COP ratings of 130 children with known developmental disabilities.
RESULTS: Adequate validity and reliability were established. Factor analysis revealed a four-factor model that explained the underlying structure of the measure as it was hypothesized.
CONCLUSION: The COP is a valid criterion-referenced short observational tool that structures the clinician’s observations by linking a child’s behaviors to areas identified in the literature as relevant to proprioceptive processing. It takes 15 min to administer and can be used in a variety of contexts, such as the home, clinic, and school.

Blanche, E. J., Reinoso, G., Chang, M. C., & Bodison, S. (2012). Proprioceptive processing difficulties among children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities [Brief report]. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 621-624. Show abstractHide abstract

OBJECTIVE: Sensory processing difficulties among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been extensively documented. However, less is known about this population’s ability to process proprioceptive information.
METHOD: We used the Comprehensive Observations of Proprioception (COP; Blanche, Bodison, Chang, & Reinoso, in press) to describe the proprioceptive difficulties experienced by children with ASD. A sample of 32 children with ASD, 26 children with developmental disabilities excluding ASD, and 28 typically developing control children were studied using the COP.
RESULTS: Children with ASD present with proprioceptive processing difficulties that are different from those of children with developmental disabilities and their typically developing counterparts. Specific data, potential clinical applications, and directions for future research are described.
CONCLUSION: Results suggest that the COP has useful clinical research applications. Further assessment of psychometric properties, clinical utility, and meaningful differences among diverse clinical populations are needed.

Mailloux, Z., Mulligan, S., Smith Roley, S., Blanche, E. J., Cermak, S. A., Coleman, G. G., Bodison, S., & Lane, C. J. (2011). Verification and clarification of patterns of sensory integrative dysfunction. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 143-151. Show abstractHide abstract

Building on established relationships between the constructs of sensory integration in typical and special needs populations, in this retrospective study we examined patterns of sensory integrative dysfunction in 273 children ages 4–9 who had received occupational therapy evaluations in two private practice settings. Test results on the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests, portions of the Sensory Processing Measure representing tactile overresponsiveness, and parent report of attention and activity level were included in the analyses. Exploratory factor analysis identified patterns similar to those found in early studies by Ayres (1965, 1966a, 1966b, 1969, 1972b, 1977, & 1989), namely Visuodyspraxia and Somatodyspraxia, Vestibular and Proprioceptive Bilateral Integration and Sequencing, Tactile and Visual Discrimination, and Tactile Defensiveness and Attention. Findings reinforce associations between constructs of sensory integration and assist with understanding sensory integration disorders that may affect childhood occupation. Limitations include the potential for subjective interpretation in factor analysis and inability to adjust measures available in charts in a retrospective research.

Koomar, J., Miller, L. J., Schoen, S. A., Brett-Green, B., Schaaf, R. C., Benevides, T., Lane, S. J., Reynolds, S., Parham, D., May-Benson, T. A., Teasdale, A., Mailloux, Z., Smith-Roley, S., Blanche, E. J., & Bodison, S. (2008). Collaborative research programs in sensory integration and processing. Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 31(4), 1-4. Full text

Bodison, S. (2006). Sensory integration: It’s not just for children. Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 29(4), 1-4. Full text

Other Articles

Bodison, S. (2007, September 24). Sensory Integration Special Interest Section update. OT Practice, 12(17), 20. Full text

Bodison, S., & Mailloux, Z. (2006). The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests: Illuminating struggles and strengths in participation at school. OT Practice, 11(7), CE1-CE8. Full text