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Abnormal Sensory Behaviours within the Autism Spectrum

Smith, Jade (2017) Abnormal Sensory Behaviours within the Autism Spectrum. DClinPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Literature review. The current systematic review examined the relationship between sensory and repetitive behaviours in individuals with autism. Fifteen studies were selected according to relevant search terms and inclusion/exclusion criteria. Although results showed significant correlations between sensory and repetitive behaviours, there was much variability. The relationship was also likely to be artificially inflated due to the weaknesses of the measures used to assess these constructs. Methodological weaknesses of included studies are discussed as well as clinical implications and recommendations for future research. Research Report. The research report attempted to reconcile two competing (neuronal inhibition verses excitation) theories of autism, by examining the impact of epilepsy (a disorder caused by increased excitation) on visual discrimination abilities (whereby superior orientation discrimination abilities are thought to be an index of increased inhibition). In line with the inhibition theory it was hypothesised that the ASD group would show significantly better orientation discrimination abilities, whereas the epilepsy group would perform significantly poorer. Orientation discrimination abilities were compared in three groups of children; those with ASD, epilepsy or neuro-typical controls. Results found no superior discrimination abilities in the ASD group, which may suggest that visual discrimination abilities are not a reliable marker for increased inhibition. However, the epilepsy group showed significantly poorer discrimination abilities compared to neuro-typical controls. This would be expected by both inhibition and excitation theories. Methodological weaknesses, theoretical implications and suggestions for further work are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Jade Smith
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2017 13:26
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2017 13:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18213

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