Implication of the Sensory Environment in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Perspectives from School

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jul 19;18(14):7670. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18147670.


(1) Background: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently have difficulties in processing sensory information, which is a limitation when participating in different contexts, such as school. The objective of the present study was to compare the sensory processing characteristics of children with ASD in the natural context of school through the perception of professionals in the field of education, in comparison with neurodevelopmental children (2) Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study as conducted with study population consisting of children between three and ten years old, 36 of whom were diagnosed with ASD and attended the Autismo Burgos association; the remaining 24 had neurotypical development. The degree of response of the children to sensory stimuli at school was evaluated using the Sensory Profile-2 (SP-2) questionnaire in its school version, answered by the teachers. (3) Results: Statistically significant differences were found in sensory processing patterns (p = 0.001), in sensory systems (p = 0.001) and in school factors (p = 0.001). Children with ASD who obtained worse results. (4) Conclusions: Children with ASD are prone to present sensory alterations in different contexts, giving nonadapted behavioral and learning responses.

Keywords: ASD; autism; children; processing patterns; school; sensory difficulties; sensory systems.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Schools
  • Sensation