Brief report: sensory abnormalities as distinguishing symptoms of autism spectrum disorders in young children

J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Jul;39(7):1087-91. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0711-x. Epub 2009 Mar 13.


The purpose of this study was to explore the sensory profile of young children with ASD compared to young children with other developmental delays (DD) at first ASD assessment. Results found that young children with ASD had more tactile and taste/smell sensitivities and difficulties with auditory filtering than young children with other DD. Moreover, sensory scores were significantly correlated with stereotyped interests and behaviors. These findings support the hypotheses that young children with ASD show more sensory impairments than young children with other DD and that sensory symptoms are significantly related to stereotyped interests and behaviors. Results also suggest that sensory abnormalities are distinguishing symptoms of ASD that should be considered in diagnostic algorithms for younger cohorts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Hearing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Sensation*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smell
  • Stereotyped Behavior*
  • Taste
  • Touch