University of Oulu

Jussila, K., Junttila, M., Kielinen, M. et al. Sensory Abnormality and Quantitative Autism Traits in Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder in an Epidemiological Population. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 180–188 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10803-019-04237-0

Sensory abnormality and quantitative autism traits in children with and without autism spectrum disorder in an epidemiological population

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Author: Jussila, K.1; Junttila, M.1; Kielinen, M.2;
Organizations: 1Clinic of Child Psychiatry, PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-01-07


Sensory abnormalities (SAs) are recognized features in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and a relationship between SAs and ASD traits is also suggested in general population. Our aims were to estimate the prevalence of SAs in three different settings, and to study the association between SAs and quantitative autism traits (QAT) using the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) and a parental questionnaire. In an epidemiological population of 8-year-old children (n = 4397), the prevalence of SAs was 8.3%, in an ASD sample (n = 28), 53.6%, and in a non-ASD sample (n = 4369), 8.0%, respectively. Tactile and auditory hypersensitivity predicted an ASD diagnosis. The ASSQ was able to differentiate children with and without SA. In conclusion, QAT level and SAs were associated in all study samples.

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Series: Journal of autism and developmental disorders
ISSN: 0162-3257
ISSN-E: 1573-3432
ISSN-L: 0162-3257
Volume: 50
Pages: 180 - 188
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-019-04237-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. We warmly thank all the children, their parents, and their teachers who participated in our study. We feel reverently grateful to child psychiatrist, Ph.D. Sirkka-Liisa Linna, who gave her expertice to the diagnostic process. For this study we received financial support from Finland’s Slot Machine Association, awarded to the Finnish Association for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. We also received research grants from the Alma and K. A. Snellman Foundation, Oulu, Finland (PI, Jussila, Junttila, Mattila), the Rinnekoti Research Foundation, Espoo, Finland (PI, Mattila), and the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Finland (PI, Mattila). This study will be adapted into two dissertations.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.