The Latest New Sensory Assessment Checklist for Kids With Autism

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sensory assessment

Sensory Assessment Checklist

A sensory assessment checklist is a great tool to help parents understand their child with autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people communicate, relate to others, and respond in everyday situations. 

It also impacts how children learn, behave, and develop socially.

Visual – Is the child able to recognize shapes, colors, numbers, letters, or patterns?
Auditory – Does the child hear sounds clearly?
Olfactory – Does the child notice smells?
Tactile – Does the child feel textures?
Gustatory – Does the child taste things well?
Somatosensory – Does the child notice temperature changes?

Visual Sense

The visual sense is one of the most important senses for children to develop.

Children who cannot see well are at risk for learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

In addition, poor vision can cause problems with attention and focus. 

If your child has trouble seeing, he or she may be experiencing eye strain, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and irritability. 

A sensory assessment helps parents understand which areas need help.

To help prevent these symptoms, keep your child’s screen time to a minimum. 

Also, if your child is having difficulty focusing, try using colored overlays or stickers to cover up distracting images on computer screens.

sensory assessment


Auditory – Can they hear sounds? Do they respond to music?
If you suspect your child has an auditory processing disorder, there are several ways to get a sensory assessment.

One method involves having them listen to a series of tones while you ask questions about what they heard. 

Another method involves playing a recording of speech and asking the child to repeat words or phrases.


Tactile – Are they able to distinguish between textures like smooth vs rough surfaces?
Auditory – Do they hear sounds clearly?
Visual – Is their vision clear?
Olfactory – Does their sense of smell work well?
Gustatory – Do they taste things well?
Somatosensory – Do they feel pain well?
The tactile component of the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Checklist includes questions such as

“Do they prefer smooth surfaces over rough ones?” and “Are they able to tell the difference between soft and firm objects?” 

These questions help identify whether children with SPD have problems with touch. 

Children who have SPD often have difficulty distinguishing between different textures, which makes them less likely to enjoy certain activities, like playing outside.

sensory assessment


Olfactory – Does the child have an interest in smells?
If a child has an interest in smells, then he/she will likely enjoy smelling scented items such as lotions, soaps, perfumes, etc. 

This is a good opportunity to introduce these items to them. 

You can also use aromatherapy oils to help calm them down when they are having a meltdown.

The olfactory sense is one of the most important senses for children. Children who are able to smell things are better at learning than those who cannot. When children are exposed to different smells, they learn what each smell means. 

For example, if a child likes the smell of strawberries, she might be interested in eating them later.



Gaze – Do they look at faces?
Eye contact is one of the first things children learn. 

It helps them understand what others are thinking and feeling. 

Children who do not make eye contact often struggle socially. 

They may avoid looking people directly in the eyes because they feel uncomfortable.
The most common reason why children do not make eye contact is because they are afraid of being judged negatively. 

If they do not know how to read facial expressions, they may misinterpret other people’s emotions. 

For example, if a child does not make eye contact, he might think that his teacher is angry with him. 

He would then be afraid to speak up in class.

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About Brewgirl

Hey there!  I'm Betsy.  Mom, RN, special education teacher and blogger at The Autism Daily Brew.  Working hard to bring you the best resources in autism.