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Adding Sensory Integration to Autism Assessments May Yield More IndividualizedTreatment


People with autism are often portrayed in popular media as experiencing difficulty processing highly stimulating or overly loud environments. While this is certainly true for many, there can be a wide diversity in the ways people comprehend the information they perceive from all senses. New research from Thomas Jefferson University, in collaboration with Einstein Medical Center, shows that adding assessments focused on sensory integration into the regular autism assessment process can yield new information for patients and their care teams to help guide therapeutic activities.

“Current criteria and diagnostic tests for autism often consider “reactivity,” or feeling overstimulated or overwhelmed by loud or bustling environments,” says senior author and occupational therapist, Roseann Schaaf, PhD, director of the Jefferson Autism Center of Excellence. “It’s great that sensory features are now part of the criteria, but overstimulation or

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