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Research Article  |   July 2001
Comparison of Sensory Profile Scores of Young Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders
Author Affiliations
  • Renee L. Watling, MS, OTR, is Doctoral Student, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Box 356490, Seattle, Washington 98195; rwatling@u.wasington.edu
  • Jean Deitz, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Owen White, PhD, is Professor, College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Assessment and Validity
Research Article   |   July 2001
Comparison of Sensory Profile Scores of Young Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2001, Vol. 55, 416-423. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.4.416
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2001, Vol. 55, 416-423. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.4.416
Abstract

Objectives.The purpose of this study was to describe the sensory-based behaviors of young children with autism as reported by their parents on the Sensory Profile. Factor scores of children with autism were compared with those of children without autism.

Method.The Sensory Profile questionnaire was completed by parents of 40 children with autism 3 through 6 years of age and parents of 40 children without autism 3 through 6 years of age.

Results.The performance of children with autism was significantly different from that of children without autism on 8 of 10 factors. Factors where differences were found included Sensory Seeking, Emotionally Reactive, Low Endurance/Tone, Oral Sensitivity, Inattention/Distractibility, Poor Registration, Fine Motor/Perceptual, and Other.

Conclusion.Findings from the study suggest that young children with autism have deficits in a variety of sensory processing abilities as measured by the Sensory Profile. Further research is needed to replicate these findings, to examine the possibility of subgroups on the basis of sensory processing, and to contrast the sensory processing abilities of children with other disabilities to those of children with autism.