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Precursors to the Development of Anxiety Disorders in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2017

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Duke University Durham United States

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Sensory over-responsivity SOR is characterized by heightened and unusual reactivity to sensory stimuli, such as touch and sound. Community studies suggest that SOR affects up to 16 percent of school-age children. SOR is also prevalent across a number of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders and recent evidence suggests that it may be a risk factor for emotion dysregulation and anxiety in autism spectrum disorder ASD. This study aimed to characterize the relationship between SOR, sensory gating, attentional control, and anxiety symptoms in a sample of 3-5 year old children with ASD using parent report, neurophysiological, and observational measures. Initial findings indicate that children with ASD who have clinically significant sensory are at increased risk for also meeting criteria for an anxiety disorder. This finding will provide valuable information in the identification of the early risk factors for anxiety across disorders, which may ultimately guide the development of interventions for and prevention of early onset anxiety, especially among those with ASD.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Psychology

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