Differential Associations Between Sensory Response Patterns and Language, Social, and Communication Measures in Children With Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities PurposeTo examine patterns of sensory responsiveness (i.e., hyperresponsiveness, hyporesponsiveness, and sensory seeking) as factors that may account for variability in social-communicative symptoms of autism and variability in language, social, and communication skill development in children with autism or other developmental disabilities (DDs).MethodChildren with autistic disorder (AD; n = 72, mean ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2011
Differential Associations Between Sensory Response Patterns and Language, Social, and Communication Measures in Children With Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda R. Watson
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Elena Patten
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Grace T. Baranek
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Michele Poe
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Brian A. Boyd
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ashley Freuler
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jill Lorenzi
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Correspondence to Linda R. Watson: lwatson@med.unc.edu
  • Elena Patten is now at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jill Lorenzi is now at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, VA.
    Elena Patten is now at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jill Lorenzi is now at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, VA.×
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Pamela Hadley
    Associate Editor: Pamela Hadley×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Language
Article   |   December 01, 2011
Differential Associations Between Sensory Response Patterns and Language, Social, and Communication Measures in Children With Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2011, Vol. 54, 1562-1576. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0029)
History: Received February 1, 2010 , Revised September 30, 2010 , Accepted March 19, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2011, Vol. 54, 1562-1576. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0029)
History: Received February 1, 2010; Revised September 30, 2010; Accepted March 19, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 31

PurposeTo examine patterns of sensory responsiveness (i.e., hyperresponsiveness, hyporesponsiveness, and sensory seeking) as factors that may account for variability in social-communicative symptoms of autism and variability in language, social, and communication skill development in children with autism or other developmental disabilities (DDs).

MethodChildren with autistic disorder (AD; n = 72, mean age = 52.3 months) and other DDs (n = 44, mean age = 48.1 months) participated in a protocol measuring sensory response patterns; social-communicative symptoms of autism; and language, social, and communication skills.

ResultsHyporesponsiveness was positively associated with social-communicative symptom severity, with no significant group difference in the association. Hyperresponsiveness was not significantly associated with social-communicative symptom severity. A group difference emerged for sensory seeking and social-communicative symptom severity, with a positive association for the AD group only. For the 2 groups of children combined, hyporesponsiveness was negatively associated with language skills and social adaptive skills. Sensory seeking also was negatively associated with language skills. These associations did not differ between the 2 groups.

ConclusionsAberrant sensory processing may play an important role in the pathogenesis of autism and other DDs as well as in the rate of acquisition of language, social, and communication skills.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant R01-HD42168. We thank the families whose participation made this study possible and the staff who collected and processed data for this project.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access