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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1934701, 8 pages
Research Article

Longitudinal Study of Sensory Features in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

1École de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4
2Axe Mère-Enfant, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CRCHUS), Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4
3Axe le Développement de l’Enfant dans sa Famille et sa Communauté, Institut de Première Ligne en Santé et Services Sociaux, CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 4C4
4Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Development and Disability, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
5Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation, Montreal, QC, Canada H2H 2N8
6School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y5

Correspondence should be addressed to Mélanie Couture

Received 25 April 2017; Revised 19 July 2017; Accepted 24 July 2017; Published 27 August 2017

Academic Editor: Valsamma Eapen

Copyright © 2017 Lucia Perez Repetto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Between 45 and 95% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) present sensory features that affect their daily functioning. However, the data in the scientific literature are not conclusive regarding the evolution of sensory features in children with ASD. The main objective of this study was to analyze the sensory features of children within the age of 3-4 (T1) when they received their ASD diagnosis and two years later (T2) when they started school. Methods. We conducted a prospective cohort study to assess sensory features in 34 children with ASD over time. The data were collected using a standardized assessment tool, the Sensory Profile. Results. Our analyses show that sensory features in children with ASD are stable from the age of three to six years. The stability of sensory scores is independent of correction by covariates, such as cognitive level and autism severity scores. Conclusions. Children with ASD have sensory features that persist from the time of diagnosis at the age of 3 to 4 years to school age. This persistence of sensory features from an early age underscores the need to support these children and their parents. Sensory features should be detected early and managed to improve functional and psychosocial outcomes.