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Scientific article
Open access
English

Sensory Processing Issues and Their Association with Social Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published inJournal of clinical medicine, vol. 8, no. 10, 1508
Publication date2019-09-20
First online date2019-09-20
Abstract

Sensory processing issues have been frequently reported in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but their relationship with social and overall adaptive functioning has not been extensively characterized to date. Here, we investigate how sensory processing atypicalities relate with deficits in social skills, impaired social cognition, and general adaptive functioning in a group of preschoolers with ASD. Sixty-four children with ASD aged 3 to 6 were included in this study, along with 36 age-matched typically-developing (TD) peers. Parent-reported measures of sensory processing, social difficulties and overall adaptive functioning were collected for all children. We also obtained precise measures of social attention deployment using a custom-design eye-tracking task depicting naturalistic social scenes. Within the group of children with ASD, higher intensities of sensory issues were associated with more prominent social difficulties and lower adaptive functioning. We also found that children with ASD who had more sensory issues showed visual exploration patterns of social scenes that strongly deviated from the one seen in the TD group. The association of sensory processing atypicalities with "higher-order" functional domains such as social and adaptive functioning in children with ASD stresses the importance of further research on sensory symptoms in autism.

eng
Keywords
  • Adaptive behavior
  • Autism
  • Eye-tracking
  • Sensory processing issues
  • Social cognition
  • Social difficulties
Citation (ISO format)
KOJOVIC, Nada et al. Sensory Processing Issues and Their Association with Social Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In: Journal of clinical medicine, 2019, vol. 8, n° 10, p. 1508. doi: 10.3390/jcm8101508
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ISSN of the journal2077-0383
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