Thursday, February 16, 2012

Autism and Motor Skills

Recent research was published in Autism regarding motor skill development in children with autism.  The researchers studied 144 children from 67 families where at least one child had a diagnoses of autism. The Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd Edition, was performed on sibling pairs.  The results indicated the following:
  • the lower the score on the Bruininks the greater the degree of social impairment and severity of autism
  • total motor composite scores were at least one standard deviation below the mean in 83% of the participants with autism
  • only 6% of the unaffected siblings exhibited one standard deviation below the mean with regards to total composite score
  • overall motor skills in siblings without autism were essentially normal
The researchers concluded that motor impairment constitutes a core characteristic of autism.

Reference:   Hilton CL, Zhang Y, White, MR, Klohr CL, Constantino J. Motor impairment in sibling pairs concordant and discordant for autism spectrum disorders. Autism. Published Jan. 18, 2012. doi: 10.1177/1362361311423018

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