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Research Areas

  • Early childhood development

  • Early screening

  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

  • Sensory processing disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Internet health studies

My research focuses on early child development, sensory modulation, and developmental disorders. I study the efficacy of developmental screening tools for implementation in community settings. I am interested in the potential of screening for ASD early in life and the early noticeable signs. My work in this area spans longitudinal clinical assessments and internet networks using modern technologies. One of my main projects these days is the study of internet-based developmental diaries. In addition, I investigate the nature of sensory modulation capacities in typically developing children, as well as those with ASD. The interplay between sensory symptoms and anxiety is of great interest to me at the theoretical and practical levels. Research in this area has ramifications for the design of interdisciplinary intervention programs, and aids the discovery of underlying mechanisms.  

Are you interested in research?

 

Baby.CROINC

Do you have a child 0-6 years old?  Do you want to know whether your child’s development is on track?  Do you want to give other parents developmental advice, and learn from other parents' experience? Visit https://baby.croinc.org/ to build a developmental diary describing your child's developmental milestones and important features, and share parenting tips with other parents.

  • Personal Information

    Education


    Post-Doctoral research

    2009-2010 University of Haifa, Center for The Study of Child Development

    2007-2008 UMASS Boston, Department of Psychology


    Sc.D.

    2002-2007 Boston University, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy


    M.A.

    1999-2002 Hebrew University, School of Education, Special Education Division


    B.A.

    1993-1997 Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Center/Medical School, School of Occupational Therapy


  • Courses
  • Publications

    Publis​hed Work


    Journal Publications:

    Podoly, T.Y., & Ben-Sasson, A. (2016). Sensory over responsivity and obsessive compulsive symptoms: A cluster analysis. Comprehensive Psychiatry 73, 151-159.

    Ben-Sasson, A., & Yom-Tov, E. (2016). Online concerns of parents suspecting autism spectrum disorder in their child: Content analysis of signs and automated prediction of risk. JMIR, 18(11), e300.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Yom-Tov, E., & Pelleg, D. (2016). Does my child have ASD? The clinical quality of online answers and their automated prediction. Proceedings of the 10th AAAI CWSM, 543-546.

    Ben-Sasson, A., & Shmeltzer, R. (2015). The interplay between coordinated motor-vocal imitation and development in toddlers. Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 25(1), E8-E23.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Soto, T. W., Herble, A., Carter, A. S., Briggs-Gowan, M. (2014). Early markers and concurrent differences of clusters of children with ADHD with and without sensory over-responsivity. Journal of Attention Disorders. 136, e582-e590. doi: 10.1177/1087054714543495.

    Ben-Sasson, A., & Gil, S. V. (2014). Motor and language abilities from early to late toddlerhood: Using formalized assessments to capture continuity and discontinuity in development. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(7), 1425-1432.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Habib, S., & Tirosh, I. (2014). Feasibility of early screening for the identification of autism traits in a well-baby clinic system. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 29(3), 238-247.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Amit-Ben-Simhon, H., & Meyer, S.  (2013). Cross-parent reliability in rating ASD markers in Infants. Journal of Developmental Neurorehabilitation, [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23924084.

    Ben-Sasson, A., & Carter, A. S. (2013). The contribution of sensory-regulatory markers to the accuracy of ASD screening. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7(7), 879-888.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Soto, T.W., Martinez-Pedraza, F., & Carter, A.S. (2013). Early sensory over-responsivity in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders as a predictor of family impairment and parenting stress. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(8), 846-853.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Lamash, L., & Gal, E. (2012). To enforce or not to enforce? The use of collaborative interfaces to promote social skills in children with HFASD. Autism: International Journal of Research, 17(5), 608-622.

    Ben-Sasson, A. & Carter, A.S. (2012). The application of the First Year Inventory for ASD screening in Israel. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders , 42(9), 1906-1916.

    Carter, A., Ben-Sasson, A., & Briggs-Gowan, M. (2011). Sensory over-responsivity, psychopathology, and family impairment in school-aged children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(12), 1212-1219.

    Green, S.A., Ben-Sasson, A., Soto, T., & Carter, A.S. (2012). Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Bidirectional effects across time. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(6), 1112-1119.

    Mayer, S., Amit, H., Cohen, M., & Ben-Sasson, A. (2011). Reliability of the First Year Inventory in Israel: Mother versus father perspective. Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 20(2), H75-H92.

    Ben-Sasson, A. (2011). Parent search for evidence-based practice: A personal story. Journal of Paediatric and Child Health, 47(7), 415-418.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Carter, A.S., & Briggs-Gowan, M. (2010). The development of sensory over-responsivity from infancy to elementary school. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38(8), 1193-1202.

    Battocchi, A., Gal, E., Ben-Sasson, A., Pianesi, F., Venuti, P., Zancanaro, M., & Weiss, P.L. (2010). The Collaborative Puzzle Game: A tabletop interface for fostering collaborative skills in children with autism spectrum disorders and with typical development. Journal of Assistive Technology, 4(1), 4-13.

    Green, S., & Ben-Sasson, A. (2010). Anxiety disorders and sensory over-responsivity in children with autism spectrum disorders: Is there a causal relationship? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(12), 1495-1504.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Carter, A. S., & Briggs-Gowan, M. (2009). Sensory over-responsivity in elementary school: Prevalence and social-emotional correlates. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37(5):705-16.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Stimmell, K.E., & Cermak, S.A. (2009). Sequence of gestural representations in children with high functioning autism. Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 18(4), E57-E73.

    Battocchi, A., Pianesi, F., Tomasini, D., Zancanaro, M., Esposito, G., Venuti, P., Ben-Sasson, A., Gal, E., & Weiss, P. L. (2009). Collaborative puzzle game: A tabletop interactive game for fostering collaboration in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, Banff, Alberta, Canada (pp. 197-204).

    Battocchi, A., Pianesi, F., Venuti, P., Ben-Sasson, A., Gal, E., & Weiss, P. L. (2009). Collaborative puzzle game: Fostering collaboration in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and with typical development. Proceedings of the Virtual Rehabilitation International Conference, Haifa, Israel (pp. 204).

    Ben-Sasson, A., Hen, L., Fluss, R., Cermak, S.A., Engel-Yeger, B., & Gal, E. (2008). Meta-analysis of sensory modulation symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 1-11.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Cermak, S.A., Orsmond, G.I., Tager-Flusberg, H., Carter, A.S., & Kadlec, M.B. (2008). Sensory clusters of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Differences in internalizing symptoms. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(8), 817-825.

    Battocchi, A., Gal, E., Ben-Sasson, A., Pianesi, F., Venuti, P., Zancanaro, M., & Weiss, P. L. (2008). The Collaborative puzzle game - an interface for studying collaboration and social interaction for children who are typically developed or who have autistic spectrum disorder. Proceeding at the 7th ICDVRAT with ArtAbilitation, Maia, Portugal, University of Reading, UK (pp. 1-8).

    Ben-Sasson, A., Cermak, S. A., Orsmond, G. I., Carter, A. S., Kadlec, M. B., & Dunn, W. (2007). Extreme sensory modulation behaviors in toddlers with autism. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61(5), 584-592.

    Ben-Sasson, A., Cermak, S. A., Orsmond, G. I., Carter, A. S., & Fogg, L. (2007). Can we differentiate sensory over-responsivity from anxiety in toddlers? Perspectives of occupational therapists and psychologists. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28(5), 536-558.

    Ben-Sasson, A. (2004). Natural applications of Applied Behavior Analysis for children with autism. Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 13(2), E37-E53.


    Edited books and special journal issues:

    Shadmy, E., Ben-Sasson, A., Drach-Zehavy, A., Roe, D., & Sachs, D. (2015). The implementation of Evidence Based Practice in Health Care. Pardes Publishing.

    Ben-Sasson, A. & Gal, E. (2011). Special Issue on Autism. Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 20(2).

     

    Book Chapters:

    Ben-Sasson, A. & Podoly, T. (2014). Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity in autism: Expression, Identification, and Intervention. In S. Lowinger (Ed.) Over the rainbow: Innovations in assessment and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (52 pages, in Hebrew). Ach Publishers.

    Gal, E., Cermak, S. A., & Ben-Sasson, A. (2007). Sensory processing disorders of children with autism: Nature, assessment and intervention. In R. Gabriels, & D. Hill (Eds.) Growing up with autism: Working with school age children and adolescents. NY: Guilford Press.


  • Participation in Conferences
  • More Info
    Early Autism Screening

    Are you a pediatric care provider (e.g., physical therapist, occupational therapist)? We are studying the efficacy of training healthcare professionals in early ASD screening, in collaboration with the Physical Therapy department at University of Haifa.   

    Sensory modulation, Autism, and OCD

    Sensory modulation symptoms such as sensitivity to noise, smell aversions, and touch resistance are often experienced by individuals with autism. As of May 2013, these sensory atypicalities are part of the ASD diagnosis. The underlying mechanisms and ramifications of these symptoms for behavioral rigidity and repetitiveness are not well understood. We are conducting a series of studies looking at the link between OCD symptoms and sensory modulation symptoms in typical and clinical samples. We aim to understand the contribution of sensory symptoms to the emergence of OCD symptoms.

    If you are over 18 years old and would like to hear more about participation in our study write to us at sensory.oc@gmail.comץ

  • Personal Links