Examining sensory modulation in individuals with autism as compared to community controls

Janet K. Kern, Carolyn R. Garver, Thomas Carmody, Alonzo A. Andrews, Jyutika A. Mehta, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to examine sensory modulation items on the Sensory Profile in individuals with autism as compared to community controls. The data for this study were collected as part of a cross-sectional study that examined sensory processing, using the Sensory Profile, in 103 individuals with autism and/or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), 3-43 years of age, compared to 103 age- and gender-matched community controls. Specifically, this study examined sensory modulation items on the Sensory Profile: Modulation Related to Body Position and Movement; Modulation of Movement Affecting Activity Level; Modulation of Sensory Input Affecting Emotional Responses; and Modulation of Visual Input Affecting Emotional Responses and Activity Level. Sensory modulation in individuals with autism was significantly different than community controls on all four modulation sections of the Sensory Profile, with individuals with autism engaging in the behaviors more frequently than the controls. In addition, a trend was noted in three of the four areas that the older individuals with autism were closer to the community controls than the younger individuals with autism. The results suggest that there are differences between individuals with autism and community controls in their ability to modulate sensory stimuli in areas that affect movement, emotional response, and activity level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Autism
  • Community controls
  • Sensory Profile
  • Sensory modulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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