Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado

Faculty Sponsor

Nancy Karlin


Currently, autism is defined at the behavioral level. Although much has been learned about the genetic, environmental, structural, and neuropsychological etiologies of autism much more research must be conducted to reach a full comprehensive definition of the disorder. At the behavioral level, a significant portion of individuals with autism have some level of sensory processing deficit, studies report 100% prevalence in this population. The goal of many researchers in the autism field is to identify how abnormal sensory response patterns differentiate this group from those with other developmental disorders as well as those who are typically developing. Findings show atypical sensory response patterns in various sensory systems, in early development, and in response to particular types of stimuli. The present study sought to verify previous findings and further the investigation of unique modulation patterns across sensory systems in this population. This was be evaluated with the use of the Short Sensory Profile, a questionnaire given to caregivers to asses his/her child’s response to sensory stimuli while performing a variety of tasks in daily life. Participants included parents or legal guardians of individuals diagnosed with autism, individuals diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and individuals without a diagnosis demonstrating typical developmental patterns.

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