Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 112–122

Sensory Processing Subtypes in Autism: Association with Adaptive Behavior

  • Alison E. Lane
  • Robyn L. Young
  • Amy E. Z. Baker
  • Manya T. Angley
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0840-2

Cite this article as:
Lane, A.E., Young, R.L., Baker, A.E.Z. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2010) 40: 112. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0840-2


Children with autism are frequently observed to experience difficulties in sensory processing. This study examined specific patterns of sensory processing in 54 children with autistic disorder and their association with adaptive behavior. Model-based cluster analysis revealed three distinct sensory processing subtypes in autism. These subtypes were differentiated by taste and smell sensitivity and movement-related sensory behavior. Further, sensory processing subtypes predicted communication competence and maladaptive behavior. The findings of this study lay the foundation for the generation of more specific hypotheses regarding the mechanisms of sensory processing dysfunction in autism, and support the continued use of sensory-based interventions in the remediation of communication and behavioral difficulties in autism.


Sensory processingAutismSubtypesAdaptive behaviorCommunicationModel-based cluster analysis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison E. Lane
    • 1
  • Robyn L. Young
    • 2
  • Amy E. Z. Baker
    • 3
  • Manya T. Angley
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Allied Medical ProfessionsThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.School of Nursing and MidwiferyUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia