In this study, sensory features in toddlers ages 12–24 months with risk factors for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were observed and their relationship to general development and early signs of ASD explored. The 546 participants were visited one time for the study and included toddlers with higher risk for ASD; all were administered standardized assessments of sensory features, early signs of ASD, and general development. Sensory features in toddlers were characterized as either adaptive or reactive. Toddlers with more difficulties in oral sensory processing displayed more early signs of ASD. Typical oral and auditory processing were associated with higher cognitive function and toddlers with fewer sensory features overall had more mature language skills. Specific sensory features were associated with both early signs of ASD and less mature general development. Replication of this preliminary study is required.
Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)
Kelsey Philpott-Robinson, BOccThy (Hons), is PhD (Occupational Therapy) Candidate, School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.
Alison E. Lane, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences and Priority Research Centre Grow Up Well, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.
Karen Harpster, PhD, OTR/L, is an Occupational Therapist, Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
1. Identify risk factors for autism spectrum disorder
2. Describe four distinct sensory subtypes and associated behaviors that may be present in children with autism spectrum disorder
3. Discuss sensory features in toddlers that may be associated with early signs of autism spectrum disorder
Exam questions for this course authored by Marie Morreale, OTR/L, CHT
Learning Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants
Content Focus: Category 1: Domain of OT; Category 2: OT Process: Intervention
Philpott-Robinson, K., Lane, A. E., & Harpster, K. (2016). Sensory features of toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70, 7004220010. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.019497