Research shows that 3 percent of children have increasing sensory problems in childhood
New results from a USC-led study reveal that 3 percent of children with heightened sensory traits appear to get worse as they grow from infant/toddler to toddler age. learn. Of those who fit the profile of this so-called “Elevated–All Worse” group, 82 percent were diagnosed with autism or exhibited elevated autistic traits by the time they were 3 years old. -6 year old.
The data demonstrate a strong association between kidsearly senses trajectory and later sensory challenges that influence their developmental and behavioral outcomes. Results were published online today in Development and Psychology.
“While every child with autism is unique, previous research has shown that autism there are sensory subtypes—consistent patterns of overreaction and underreaction when it comes to sight, sound, touch, and motion,” Yun-Ju paper lead author Claire Chen, Ph. D. “These results not only show how sensory preferences change throughout childhood for all children, but reveal specific patterns tied to behavioral and clinical outcomes different later.”
Chen is currently a postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and recently completed a Ph. degree in Occupational Science at USC Chan.
For six years, as part of the North Carolina Child Development Survey project, researchers followed more than 1,500 children born in North Carolina in 2013. The researchers asked the parents. mothers about their child’s sensory behaviors at three time points in the three developmental stages: as an infant/toddler (6-19 months), preschool age (3-4 years) and children of school age (6-7 years old). Parents were also asked about their children’s autism symptoms, various developmental concerns, and whether their children received any diagnoses.
Chen and colleagues studied a subset of 389 trajectories to better understand how each child’s perceptual sensory behaviors change over time and whether there are any patterns of change among them. whether it is related to clinical outcomes and adaptation/unadaptation as the child grows up to school age.
The researchers found that 62% of trajectories were generally stable or improved, with mild to moderate sensory features and some challenges in certain areas. They classified 35 percent of the trajectories as “Adaptive—Improve All,” with very low sensory concerns and better overall outcomes at school age.
But 3 percent of children have an “Elevated—All Worse” trajectory, characterized by heightened sensory characteristics and patterns of significant deterioration over time, with significant challenges in the behavioral domain at school age. A total of 82 percent of “Elevated – All Worse” children were diagnosed with autism or had elevated autism features between the ages of 3 and 6. This group includes significantly more boys and children of parents with less education. Children who met the criteria for this group were also more likely to have ADHD diagnosed or worried, and significantly higher levels of emotional anxiety such as anxiety.
Because the “Advanced—It All Gets Worse” subtype can first be detected at a 6-19 month assessment score, the researchers say sensory characteristics should be considered a Useful early behavioral markers of autism and related challenges later in life.
“This study confirms that early sensory experiences are strongly associated with clinical and behavioral outcomes later in life,” said Associate Dean and President Grace Baranek, lead author of the paper. said.
Baranek directs the Innovation in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research lab—also known as the insp!re lab—at USC Chan.
Research professor John Sideris, USC Chan’s director of tool development and psychoanalytic/statistical analysis, is also a co-author. Baranek’s longtime collaborators Linda Watson and Elizabeth Crais, investigators in the Early Autism Research, Leadership, and Services Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are additional co-authors. fig.
“By characterizing children according to their early sensory development, clinicians can more accurately and effectively identify those children who are more likely to experience challenges,” says Baranek. awareness of development when they reach school age”. “And as clinicians pay more and more attention to sensory characteristics in children as part of a comprehensive health profile, children with a high likelihood of autism may be referred to important services at an earlier time to access interventions that can optimize their sensory skills and social engagement in the long run,” says Baranek.
Yun-Ju Chen et al., Early developmental profiling of sensory traits and associations with school-age adaptive and maladaptive outcomes: A cohort investigation of birth, Development and Psychology (2022). DOI: 10.1017/S0954579422001195
University of Southern California
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