Social and non-social sensory responsivity in toddlers at high-risk for autism spectrum disorder.

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TitleSocial and non-social sensory responsivity in toddlers at high-risk for autism spectrum disorder.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsGunderson, J, Worthley, E, Grzadzinski, R, Burrows, C, Estes, A, Zwaigenbaum, L, Botteron, K, Dager, S, Hazlett, H, Schultz, R, Piven, J, Wolff, J
Corporate AuthorsIBIS Network
JournalAutism Res
Date Published2021 10
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Disorder, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Infant, Male, Surveys and Questionnaires

Empirical evidence concerning sensory responsivity in young children who later develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remains relatively limited. It is unclear whether specific patterns or aspects of sensory responsivity underlay the emergence of the disorder. The goals of this study were to (a) examine whether social versus non-social context impacted the expression of sensory responsivity in infants at high risk for ASD, and (b) examine if sensory responsivity in social or non-social contexts was associated with severity of ASD symptoms. The Sensory Experiences Questionnaire 2.1 was collected for 338 infants (131 females, 207 males) at high-risk for ASD at 12 and/or 24 months of age. High-risk toddlers meeting diagnostic criteria for ASD (n = 75) showed elevated sensory responsivity in both social and non-social contexts at 12 months of age and differences widened over the second year of life. Individuals with ASD demonstrate higher responsivity in both contexts suggestive of generalized atypical sensory responsivity in ASD. LAY SUMMARY: Behaviors such as avoiding or noticing sensory input (e.g., sounds, touches) are often different in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than those without. The reason for this is widely unknown. The findings from this study show that in toddlers, sensory responsivity increased in both social and non-social situations. Therefore, the setting of sensory input does not explain these differences.

Alternate JournalAutism Res
PubMed ID34145789
PubMed Central IDPMC8487998
Grant ListR01MH116961 / / NIH Clinical Center /
R01HD05574 / / NIH Clinical Center /
P30 HD003110 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
T32 HD040127 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
T32HD040127 / / NIH Clinical Center /
/ AS / Autism Speaks / United States
/ / Simons Foundation /
R01 HD055741 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH116961 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P30HD03110 / / NIH Clinical Center /