A meta-analysis of sensory modulation symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Ayelet Ben-Sasson, Liat Hen, Ronen Fluss, Sharon A. Cermak, Batya Engel-Yeger, Eynat Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sensory modulation symptoms are common in persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however have a heterogeneous presentation. Results from 14 studies indicated a significant high difference between ASD and typical groups in the presence/frequency of sensory symptoms, with the greatest difference in under-responsivity, followed by over-responsivity and sensation seeking. Three moderators that reduced the variability in findings among studies were: chronological age, severity of autism, and type of control group. Sensory differences were highest for studies of children ages 6-9 years, samples with more than 80% with an autism diagnosis, and compared to a CA matched versus a MA or DD matched group. It is important to consider these moderators in the design of studies and interventions addressing sensory symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The work of the first author was supported by the Wallace Foundation Post-Doctorate Fellowship Grant to Prof. Alice Carter at the Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts. We are grateful to all the authors who were willing to share with us their unpublished data.


  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Meta analysis
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Sensory modulation
  • Sensory processing
  • Sensory profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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