Importance: Although a central tenet of occupational therapy practice, evidence-based practice is at times overrepresented by research and can overlook the contributions of clinical expertise, the lived experience, and context. This survey affords the occupational therapy practitioner the opportunity to understand sensory integration and processing (SI/P) as experienced by autistic adults.

Objective: To explore the following research question through a retrospective analysis of an internet-based survey: What is the relationship between the SI/P differences and mental health concerns reported by autistic adults?

Design: Nonexperimental; retrospective analysis of data collected from September 2018 through June 2019. The analysis team joined the project after the survey had been launched.

Setting: The Grand Sensory Survey (GSS) was available internationally through the websites and social media accounts of the Autistic Empire and STAR Institute for Sensory Processing.

Participants: The sample included 440 total responses. Excluding responses from participants ages ≤18 yr (n = 24), 416 responses were included: n = 189 identified as autistic, n = 147 identified as nonautistic, and n = 80 did not provide a response to this query.

Outcomes and Measures: The GSS included questions about demographics, mental health, and sensory experiences.

Results: Both SI/P disruptions and sensory sensitivity predicted anxiety and depression (p < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance: Differences in SI/P are significant factors in mental health for autistic adults.

What This Article Adds: We implicate multiple aspects of SI/P and their influence on mental health among autistic adults. The autistic-led design of the survey ensures representation of issues that are pivotal to the autistic community, broadening the template for aspects of SI/P that should be considered when looking at client factors in autism and influence on function and participation.

Positionality Statement: The authors deliberately use identity first language in keeping with requests from the autistic community (see This language is favored by autistic communities and self-advocates and has been adopted by health care professionals and researchers (Bottema-Beutel et al., 2021; Kenny et al., 2016). This article is written from the perspective of the social model of disability and a neurodiversity affirming frame of reference. Three of the five authors are autistic.

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