A Meta-Analysis of Sensory Modulation Symptoms in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Ayelet Ben-SassonEmail author
  • Liat Hen
  • Ronen Fluss
  • Sharon A. Cermak
  • Batya Engel-Yeger
  • Eynat Gal
Original Paper


Sensory modulation symptoms are common in persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however have a heterogeneous presentation. Results from 14 studies indicated a significant high difference between ASD and typical groups in the presence/frequency of sensory symptoms, with the greatest difference in under-responsivity, followed by over-responsivity and sensation seeking. Three moderators that reduced the variability in findings among studies were: chronological age, severity of autism, and type of control group. Sensory differences were highest for studies of children ages 6–9 years, samples with more than 80% with an autism diagnosis, and compared to a CA matched versus a MA or DD matched group. It is important to consider these moderators in the design of studies and interventions addressing sensory symptoms.


Sensory modulation Sensory processing Sensory profile Autism spectrum disorders Meta analysis Pervasive developmental disorders 



The work of the first author was supported by the Wallace Foundation Post-Doctorate Fellowship Grant to Prof. Alice Carter at the Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts. We are grateful to all the authors who were willing to share with us their unpublished data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayelet Ben-Sasson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liat Hen
    • 1
  • Ronen Fluss
    • 2
  • Sharon A. Cermak
    • 3
  • Batya Engel-Yeger
    • 1
  • Eynat Gal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Occupational TherapyHaifa UniversityHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Health Services ResearchMinistry of HealthJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Counseling Department, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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