First-person perspectives of children with autism spectrum disorder are rarely included in research, yet their voices may help more clearly illuminate their needs. This study involved phenomenological interviews with children with autism spectrum disorder (n = 12, ages 4-13) used to gain insights about their sensory experiences. This article addresses two study aims: determining the feasibility of interviewing children with autism spectrum disorder and exploring how they share information about their sensory experiences during the qualitative interview process. With the described methods, children as young as 4 years old and across a broad range of autism severity scores successfully participated in the interviews. The manner with which children shared information about their sensory experiences included themes of normalizing, storytelling, and describing responses. The interviews also revealed the importance of context and the multisensory nature of children's experiences. These findings contribute strategies for understanding the sensory experiences of children with autism spectrum disorder with implications for practice and future research.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; child interviews; sensory experiences.
© The Author(s) 2014.