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Alison Lane, PhD, OTR/L

Award Name Pilot and Collaborative Studies Award
Award Date 12/01/2010


Clinical and neurophysiologic identification of sensory dysfunction in children with autism

The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science has awarded Alison Lane, PhD, OTR/L, with pilot funds for her research involving ‘Clinical and neurophysiologic identification of sensory dysfunction in children with autism.’

Lane hopes to gain a better understanding of sensory processing in children with autism with this project. Lane’s main objective is to determine the usefulness of current clinical measures in the discovery of neurophysiologic sensory irregularities in children with autism. Lane wants to discover alternate clinical sensory assessment procedures that will accurately identify sensory dysfunction in children with autism and eventually guide intervention efforts.

“In the past, all we have been able to do is informally observe the child’s reactions to different sensory experiences but have not been sure how these observations match up with neurophysiologic responses,” Lane said.

Lane is focusing on the response inside the body, as well as outside the body. In Lane’s study, children’s behavior is observed when playing sensory games. ERP recordings are taken while the child is played speech sounds and parents complete questionnaires on how the child normally reacts to different sensory experiences such as loud noises or flashing lights.

Lane hope to find out if there is an underlying neurophysiologic difficulty that causes these different behaviors in children with autism. “If we are able to understand the body processes that drive these different sensory behaviors, than maybe we can plan intervention better.” she said.

Lane plans to expand the project to a bigger set of participants and then fine tune the procedures.

To date, Lane has been published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She has submitted an abstract to the International Meeting for Autism Research and hopes to present her research in the Spring.

By Charaun Little, January 25, 2012

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