A Preliminary Investigation of the Relationship Between Sensory Processing and Social Play in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2013


There are well-documented play deficits in autism beginning with infant object and social play. To create effective interventions, the predictors of play deficits in autism must be established. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently report sensory processing difficulties including poor praxis; however, these are potential predictors of play that have not been well studied. Using a data set of 162 individuals with ASD, this study examined the direct and indirect relationships between sensory processing and social play performance via structural equation modeling. The best fitting model suggested that sensory system functions predict praxis and play in combination, providing preliminary evidence that sensory functions are related to social play in combination with praxis in children with ASD. The findings suggest future avenues for research.