The sensory experiences of adults with autism spectrum disorder: a qualitative analysis

Robertson, A. E. and Simmons, D. R. (2015) The sensory experiences of adults with autism spectrum disorder: a qualitative analysis. Perception, 44(5), pp. 569-586. (doi: 10.1068/p7833)

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It has been well established that individuals with autism spectrum disorder report unusual experiences with sensory stimuli compared with typically developing individuals. However, there is a paucity of research exploring the nature of such experiences. A focus group was conducted with six adults with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome. Data were coded and analysed using an inductive, qualitative thematic analysis. Four main themes encompassing both positive and negative sensory experiences emerged from these data: (a) the importance of particular aspects of stimuli in their perception, (b) the importance of having control over stimuli, (c) how emotions/mental states could impact/be impacted by sensory stimuli, and (d) physical responses to stimuli. These data are discussed alongside extant literature. Limitations, possible implications, and potential directions of future research are also discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Simmons, Dr David and Robertson, Dr Ashley
Authors: Robertson, A. E., and Simmons, D. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Perception
ISSN (Online):1468-4233
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Pion
First Published:First published in Perception 44(5):569-586
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.197

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
449881Social interaction - a cognitive-neurosciences approachSimon GarrodEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/E020933/1INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING