LUCIA PARISI*, MARIA ROSARIA FORTUNATO**, MARGHERITA SALERNO***, AGATA MALTESE*, ANNABELLA DI FOLCO*, TERESA DI
FILIPPO*, MICHELE ROCCELLA*
*Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy - **Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health and Physical and Preventive Medicine; Second University of Naples, Italy - ***Sciences for Mother and Child Health Promotion, University of Palermo, Italy
Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behavioral syndrome caused by a developmental disorder, biologically deter- mined, with onset in the first three years of life. The areas concerned are mainly those related to social communication, social interac- tion and mutual functional and symbolic play.
In the last decades, different conceptions of autism have taken, also emphasizing different sensory-perceptual abnormalities as the basis of the central features of disorder.
This pilot study intends to address the issue of sensory perception in preschool children affected by ASD.
Material and methods: 11 ASD children were enrolled (7 males, 4 female) aged between 2.3 years and 4.6 years, (mean age 3.29 ± 0.72). The control group consisted of 24 typical developing children (15 males, 9 females) (mean age 3.08 ± 0.87). All subjects underwent assessment of sensory perceptual abilities according to the Bogdashina’s Sensory Profile Checklist Revised (SPCR) evalua- tion (43).
Results: The two groups are comparable for age (p = 0.491) and sex distribution (p = 0.755).
Table 1 shows the comparison between the two groups results in the SPCR, specifically, individuals with ASD, showed signifi- cantly higher scores on near all perception areas evaluated than healthy controls, suggesting a clear perceptual impairment in ASD subjects. Only for olfactory perception two groups were comparable.
Conclusions: no significant differences in behavioral reaction to smell stimulation between ASD and typical developing chil- dren, and this result could be explained according to the early age of our sample that could cause high reactivity to smell stimulation also in typical developing examined children.
Autism Spectrum Disorders, Preschool children, Perception, SPCR.