Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 10, pp 1227-1240

First online:

Motor Coordination in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Synthesis and Meta-Analysis

  • Kimberly A. FournierAffiliated withApplied Physiology and Kinesiology Department, University of FloridaDepartment of Health and Kinesiology, University of Texas–Pan American
  • , Chris J. HassAffiliated withApplied Physiology and Kinesiology Department, University of Florida
  • , Sagar K. NaikAffiliated withApplied Physiology and Kinesiology Department, University of Florida
  • , Neha LodhaAffiliated withApplied Physiology and Kinesiology Department, University of Florida
  • , James H. CauraughAffiliated withApplied Physiology and Kinesiology Department, University of FloridaMotor Behavior Laboratory, Center for Exercise Science, University of Florida Email author 

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Abstract

Are motor coordination deficits an underlying cardinal feature of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Database searches identified 83 ASD studies focused on motor coordination, arm movements, gait, or postural stability deficits. Data extraction involved between-group comparisons for ASD and typically developing controls (N = 51). Rigorous meta-analysis techniques including random effects models, forest and funnel plots, I 2, publication bias, fail-safe analysis, and moderator variable analyses determined a significant standardized mean difference effect equal to 1.20 (SE = 0.144; p < 0.0001; Z = 10.49). This large effect indicated substantial motor coordination deficits in the ASD groups across a wide range of behaviors. The current overall findings portray motor coordination deficits as pervasive across diagnoses, thus, a cardinal feature of ASD.

Keywords

ASD Motor coordination and impairments Meta-analysis