The Dutch Sensory Perception Quotient-Short in adults with and without autism

Ricarda F Weiland, Tinca Jc Polderman, Rosa A Hoekstra, Dirk Ja Smit, Sander Begeer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


LAY ABSTRACT: Individuals on the autism spectrum often experience heightened or reduced sensory sensitivities. This feature was recently added to the diagnostic manual for autism (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5)). To measure sensory sensitivities, the Sensory Perception Quotient (SPQ) has been developed. In this study, we tested whether a Dutch translation of the abridged SPQ-Short yields similar results as the original English version. We also tested whether this questionnaire can measure modality specific sensitivities. To this end, 657 adults with autism spectrum disorder and 585 adults without an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis filled out the Dutch SPQ-Short. The Dutch questionnaire data were very similar to the original English version: adults with autism spectrum disorder were more sensitive compared with adults without autism spectrum disorder. Women with autism spectrum disorder are more sensitive compared with men with autism spectrum disorder. Gender did not have an effect in the group without autism spectrum disorder. Individuals reporting higher sensory sensitivities also reported more autistic traits (such as lower social interests, or increased fascination for patterns). Finally, we found that the Dutch SPQ-Short is suited to measure modality-specific sensitivities. We conclude that the Dutch translation is a viable tool to measure sensory sensitivities in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder and can be used to further our understanding of differences in perception in people with or without autism spectrum disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071–2080
Number of pages10
JournalAutism : the international journal of research and practice
Issue number8
Early online date28 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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