Assessments of sensory processing in infants and children with autism spectrum disorder between 0–12 years old: A scoping review

Lok Him Jason Yeung, Nikos Thomacos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Sensory processing has been increasingly researched, especially in respect to its association with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children who experience ASD often also experience sensory processing difficulties, yet, a gap in the evidence remains regarding the use of sensory assessments specifically with infants and children with ASD aged 0–12 years. To address this gap and given that children in this age group typically move through three levels of education during these years, a scoping review was conducted. Method: The scoping review reviewed the peer-reviewed literature since 2008 in order to identify research that examined the use of sensory assessments with children with ASD aged 0–12. Seven databases were used. Results: Of the 37 articles included in this review, and 12 sensory assessments were identified. Three themes emerged: (a) administration, (b) focus and content, and, (c) reliability and validity. Conclusions: The findings suggest that additional research is necessary given the diversity in assessments and their application to the target population. Considering the available evidence, it is difficult to identify which is/are the most appropriate, psychometrically-sound assessment(s) when assessing sensory processing with this population. As assessments are administered in different ways; appear to capture slightly different sensory modalities and concepts related to sensory processing; and given that the psychometric properties of some assessments are poor to moderate, it is suggested that health professionals interpret sensory assessment findings with caution. It is also recommended that health professionals utilise a variety of sensory assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101517
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume72
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Assessments
  • Children
  • Infants
  • Psychometric properties
  • Scoping review
  • Sensory processing

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