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J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Jan;40(1):112-22. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0840-2. Epub 2009 Jul 31.

Sensory processing subtypes in autism: association with adaptive behavior.

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School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Children with autism are frequently observed to experience difficulties in sensory processing. This study examined specific patterns of sensory processing in 54 children with autistic disorder and their association with adaptive behavior. Model-based cluster analysis revealed three distinct sensory processing subtypes in autism. These subtypes were differentiated by taste and smell sensitivity and movement-related sensory behavior. Further, sensory processing subtypes predicted communication competence and maladaptive behavior. The findings of this study lay the foundation for the generation of more specific hypotheses regarding the mechanisms of sensory processing dysfunction in autism, and support the continued use of sensory-based interventions in the remediation of communication and behavioral difficulties in autism.

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