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Durham University



Publication details for Professor Deborah Riby

Watts, S. J., Rodgers, J. & Riby, D. M. (2016). A systematic review of the evidence for hyporesponsivity in ASD. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 3(4): 285-301.

Author(s) from Durham


Sensory modulation difficulties are common in children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Whilst both hyporesponsivity and hyperresponsivity have been established in ASD comparative to typically developing controls, it has been proposed that hyporesponsivity may distinguish the sensory profile of ASD from other neurodevelopmental conditions. This paper aimed to systematically evaluate evidence for a syndrome-specific profile of hyporesponsivity in individuals with ASD when compared to individuals from clinical comparison groups, evaluating 10 eligible papers. Support was cautiously identified for a syndrome-specific sensory profile of hyporesponsivity. Four factors that reduced variability in findings were as follows: chronological age, type of comparison group, sensory measure and quality of study. Whilst hyporesponsivity in ASD was identified, the use of poorly defined comparison groups, over-representation of children with ASD and intellectual disabilities, and younger age ranges complicate generalisation of this body of work. Recommendations for further research in this field are offered.

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