Sensory symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder, other developmental disorders and typical development: A longitudinal study

Carolyn McCormick, Susan Hepburn, Gregory S. Young, Sally J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Sensory symptoms are prevalent in autism spectrum disorder but little is known about the early developmental patterns of these symptoms. This study examined the development of sensory symptoms and the relationship between sensory symptoms and adaptive functioning during early childhood. Three groups of children were followed across three time points from 2 to 8 years of age: autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and typical development. At each time point, parents filled out questionnaires regarding their child's sensory symptoms and adaptive functioning. At the initial time point, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder reported more sensory symptoms in their children than parents in the typical development group. Parents in the autism spectrum disorder group reported more sensory symptoms than parents in the developmental delay group within smell, taste, and auditory domains. While the typical development group decreased in reported sensory symptoms across the study period, the clinical groups demonstrated no significant change across assessment points. Sensory symptoms for all groups were not independently predictive of adaptive functioning when verbal mental age was also included in the model. The young age range at the initial assessment and pattern of results suggest that sensory symptoms are present early in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders and remain stable over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-579
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015



  • adaptive behavior
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • longitudinal studies
  • sensory symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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