New Study Linking Autism and Sensory Processing Difficulties

This study on children with autism showed that their sensory processing is slower and they take longer to manage and sort through multisensory stimulation. I believe that as we learn more about the brain and its functioning, we’ll better understand sensory processing disorder.

Does your child with SPD have difficulty with background noise and distractions? Does she hyperfocus to get away from stimuli?



Filed under autism and sensory issues, sensory integration dysfunction, sensory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder in the news

2 responses to “New Study Linking Autism and Sensory Processing Difficulties

  1. J.

    OMG, yes and yes. In fact, those are her two primary difficulties. When the level of ambient noise around her gets too high, that’s when she starts to wind up herself and either rev too high and lose control or withdraw to get away from it. The withdrawing can be either emotional/behavioral or physical–if she can find a physical escape she usually takes it, hiding under a table or going to another part of the room or even outside of it. If there is no opportunity for physical escape she tries to find an activity she can withdraw into, like drawing or painting. If neither of the above is possible, she can melt down, lose her words, or shift to tactile sensory-seeking…but now that we know what to look for we can often keep her out of situations where she can’t use her coping tools.

    • It’s no wonder a child who is overwhelmed by auditory input withdraws–it’s got to be terrifying, don’t you think? It’s great that she has some sensory smart strategies to help her but clearly, the school has to be aware of her needs. That’s my concern with hidden disabilities: So many people have no idea what’s behind the behavior and will demand compliance from a child who has reverted to a primitive fear response of withdrawal!

      Have you tried any of the listening programs involving music? I know that making background noise less overwhelming is one of their claimed benefits. We personally found Therapeutic Listening helpful but I’m very impressed by the research behind The Listening Program. The other ones can get pretty darned pricey.

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