Sensor-Enabled Measurement of Stereotypy and Arousal in Individuals with Autism


A small number of studies support the notion of a functional relationship between movement stereotypy and arousal in individuals with ASD, such that changes in autonomic activity either precede or are a consequence of engaging in stereotypical motor movements. Unfortunately, it is difficult to generalize these findings as previous studies fail to report reliability statistics that demonstrate accurate identification of movement stereotypy start and end times, and use autonomic monitors that are obtrusive and thus only suitable for short-term measurement in laboratory settings. The current investigation further explores the relationship between movement stereotypy and autonomic activity in persons with autism by combining state-of-the-art ambulatory heart rate monitors to objectively assess arousal across settings; and wireless, wearable motion sensors and pattern recognition software that can automatically and reliably detect stereotypical motor movements in individuals with autism in real time.