Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Occupational Therapy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Sarah Smith


Families with children with challenging sensory needs may experience a decline in community participation, leading to decreased quality of life, personal feelings of well-being, and identity as a member of the community (Little et al., 2015 & Silverman & Tyszka, 2017). The purpose of this study was to examine and report the sensory experiences such as the sights, sounds, and physical movement opportunities within local businesses in the Seacoast New Hampshire area. To accomplish this, nine family-focused businesses were evaluated using the Sensory Scout Business Assessment-4th Edition (SSBA). Many businesses were found to have potentially overwhelming movement, auditory and visual experiences for children who have sensory sensitivities. Few businesses had opportunities for tactile experiences. The sensory factors within businesses may inhibit or facilitate a child’s participation and success in the businesses. Findings can inform families of places in the community that best support their child’s sensory needs.