The following is a summary of “Self and caregiver report measurement of sensory features in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review of psychometric properties,” published in the January 2023 issue of Neurodevelopmental Disorders by Gunderson, et al.

A growing body of research aims to understand better, define, and treat autistic individuals who exhibit unusual reactions to sensory stimuli, widely recognized as a diagnostic sign of the autism spectrum. In this work, we conduct a systematic assessment of the psychometric evidence for using self and caregiver report methods for measuring sensory characteristics in ASD. About 20 different evaluation forms were used to analyze 31 empirical studies. Significant discrepancies were found in how various evaluation methods characterize various sensory aspects.

To provide a recommendation about the utilization of sensory evaluation questionnaires, we evaluated the quality of the questionnaires in terms of the psychometric evidence presented. There were a total of five assessments that were determined to be “appropriate with circumstances.” However, no sensory assessment instruments were found to have sufficient quality psychometric data to be suggested as “Appropriate” for measuring sensory elements in ASD.

This analysis underlines how much more work needs to be done to develop sensory evaluation methods that are psychometrically sound and can be used with ASD populations. This is the case as a result of the fact that it reveals potentially substantial faults in the methodologies that are currently employed to test sensory components in ASD.