Sensory processing subtypes in autism: association with adaptive behavior

Alison Lane, Robyn Young, Amy Baker, Manya Angley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    288 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-122
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • Adaptive behavior
    • Autism
    • Communication
    • Model-based cluster analysis
    • Sensory processing
    • Subtypes


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