The relationship between sensory sensitivity and autistic traits in the general population

Ashley E Robertson, David R Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) tend to have sensory processing difficulties (Baranek et al. in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 47:591–601, 2006). These difficulties include over- and under-responsiveness to sensory stimuli, and problems modulating sensory input (Ben-Sasson et al. in J Autism Dev Disorders 39:1–11, 2009). As those with ASD exist at the extreme end of a continuum of autistic traits that is also evident in the general population, we investigated the link between ASD and sensory sensitivity in the general population by administering two questionnaires online to 212 adult participants. Results showed a highly significant positive correlation (r = .775, p < .001) between number of autistic traits and the frequency of sensory processing problems. These data suggest a strong link between sensory processing and autistic traits in the general population, which in turn potentially implicates sensory processing problems in social interaction difficulties.
Publisher Statement: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1608-7

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-784
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Sensory processing
  • Autism Spectrum Quotient
  • Autistic traits

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