Describing the Sensory Abnormalities of Children and Adults with Autism
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- Leekam, S.R., Nieto, C., Libby, S.J. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2007) 37: 894. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0218-7
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Patterns of sensory abnormalities in children and adults with autism were examined using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). This interview elicits detailed information about responsiveness to a wide range of sensory stimuli. Study 1 showed that over 90% of children with autism had sensory abnormalities and had sensory symptoms in multiple sensory domains. Group differences between children with autism and clinical comparison children were found in the total number of symptoms and in specific domains of smell/taste and vision. Study 2 confirmed that sensory abnormalities are pervasive and multimodal and persistent across age and ability in children and adults with autism. Age and IQ level affects some sensory symptoms however. Clinical and research implications are discussed.