Sunday, April 27, 2014

Motor Skills Linked to Autism Severity in Young Children

Motor skill delays autism

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly has published research on motor skill deficiencies and the severity of symptoms in 159 young children (110 with autism diagnosis) ages 12 - 33 months.  

The researcher, Megan MacDonald, from Oregon State University, found the following:

1.   children with autism were nearly a year behind their typical peers in fine motor skills, such as holding a spoon or grasping a small toy.

2.  children with autism were about six months behind in their gross motor skills, including activities like running and jumping.

3.  the motor skill deficiencies among the children with autism were not related to intellectual ability.

The researcher recommends that including fine and gross motor skill development into early interventions could help other areas of development such as social communication.  In addition MacDonald states that:  "hopes the new research will help build awareness about the importance of motor skill development and the need to include adapted physical education and physical and occupational therapy in treatment plans. Future research will look at different types of motor skill interventions to see if there are some that work better than others".

Reference:  Michelle Klampe. Motor skill deficiencies linked to autism severity in new research.  Retreived from the web at Oregon State University on 4/25/14 at

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