Atypical Sensory behaviours in children with Tourette's Syndrome and in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Wilkins, Arnold J.
Certain visual disturbances make it difficult to read text and have been attributed to visual stress, also called “pattern-related visual stress". 12 Children with ASD, 12 children with Tourette's syndrome and without ASD and 12 controls, all matched on age and non verbal ability, participated in an experiment exploring sensory behaviours and visual stress. Reading rate and accuracy were assessed with the Wilkins Rate of Reading test with and without the Intuitive Overlays. Both the children with Tourette's and the children with ASD showed a higher prevalence of atypical sensory behaviours and symptoms of visual stress than the typically developing control children. Six out of twelve children with Tourette's syndrome (50%) read more accurately and over 15% more quickly with a coloured overlay. Four of the 12 children with ASD and none of the control children read over 15% more quickly with an overlay. The findings are discussed in relation to problems in sensory modulation.