Italian Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Short Sensory Profile in Autism

Friday, May 12, 2017: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
G. Valagussa1, E. Grossi2, A. Nale1 and R. Pirovano1, (1)Villa Santa Maria scs, Tavernerio, Italy, (2)Autism Research Unit, Villa Santa Maria, Tavernerio, Italy

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by widespread abnormalities of reciprocal social interactions and communication, as well as severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior. Sensory processing problems are reported in children with autism spectrum disorders and are included in the diagnosis of autism in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). One of the most useful tools to assess sensory characteristics in ASD individuals is the Short Sensory Profile (SSP), but no Italian version of this instrument is currently available.


The aim of this study is to validate an Italian cross-cultural adaptation of the Short Sensory Profile.


Following the guidelines for the process of cross-cultural adaptation of self-report measures (Beaton et al., 2000) we did a translation of the process (two independent translators) followed by a back-up translation (two independent translators) and a final review in which full agreement was reached by the study team. We also did a pilot study to apply the SSP in a sample of 46 Italian ASD individuals (7 females; 39 males; mean age 163.5 months – SD 34.3 months, range: 87 – 226 months). The ASD diagnosis was done using the DSM V criteria, and it was confirmed using the ADOS 2. We chose capable special education teachers who carefully and fully reported their behaviors.


The SSP mean total score of the sample was 147.65 (range 119-176) pointing out the presence of sensory function impairment (the expected value ranges between 155 and 190). Thirty-two percent (N = 15) of the participants obtained a typical performance total score (range 155-190), 30.4% (N = 14) obtained a probable difference score (range 142-154), and 37% (N = 17) obtained a definite difference score (range 38-141). The sensory function impairment resulted particularly severe in two of the Scale sections (table 1): “Underresponsive/Seeks Sensation” (8.7% belonging to typical performance score, 26.1% belonging to probable difference score, 65.2% belonging to definite difference score) and “Auditory Filtering” (17.4% belonging to typical performance score, 39.1% belonging to probable difference score, 43.5% belonging to definite difference score). The section “Low energy / Weak” has a total mean score in the range of probable difference (58.7% belonging to typical performance score, 2.2% belonging to probable difference score, 39.1% belonging to definite difference score). The others sections (“Tactile sensitivity”, “Taste/Smell Sensitivity”, “Movement Sensitivity”, and “Visual Auditory Sensitivity”) have a mean score in the range of typical performance (table 1).


The Short Sensory Profile scale is now validated for use in Italy. The performance of the scales are in line with findings observed in the SSP literature. We confirm the existence of sensory impairments in ASD, particularly expressed as under-responsiveness or seeking stimuli and an increased or decreased response to auditory stimuli.