AUTISM-Brain sciences-Panerai et al-raw data
The aim of this study is to better understand the relationship between sensory and feeding problems in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by comparing sensory responsiveness of ASD children with (ASD-W) and without (ASD-WO) feeding problems. The feeding and sensory characteristics of 111 children with ASD (37 ASD-W and 74 ASD-WO) were assessed by using two questionnaires tapping on feeding problems and two on sensory problems. A comparative study was carried out with between-group as well as intra-group comparisons design; a correlation analysis was also added. A statistically significant correlation was found between sensory and feeding problems. ASD-W children showed more severe and extensively impaired sensory responses than ASD-WO, with lower sensory adaptation and more generalized and severe deficits in all subdomains. Taste/Smell sensitivity was strongly impaired only in ASD-W, whereas in ASD-WO it was found to be a point of strength. Both groups showed a Hyporesponsive profile, though it was more marked in ASD-W. Both groups showed strengths in Visual/Auditory sensitivity, Low-Energy/Weak, and Movement sensitivity, again more marked in ASD-WO. These results might prove to be particularly useful for sensory training and psychoeducational treatment.