Motor Signs Distinguish Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome from Controls

  • Eva M. Jansiewicz
  • Melissa C. Goldberg
  • Craig J. Newschaffer
  • Martha B. Denckla
  • Rebecca Landa
  • Stewart H. MostofskyEmail author
Original Paper


While many studies of motor control in autism have focused on specific motor signs, there has been a lack of research examining the complete range of subtle neuromotor signs. This study compared performance on a neurologic examination standardized for children (PANESS, Physical and Neurological Exam for Subtle Signs, Denckla [1974 Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 16(6), 729–741]) between a group of 40 boys aged 6–17 with autism and average range IQs and a group of 55 typically developing boys. The Autism group was shown to have significant impairment on several measures of motor control compared to the Control group. Regression analyses revealed that a model including four PANESS variables offered a high level of discrimination in distinguishing boys with high-functioning autism from controls.


Coordination Dysrhythmia Overflow Gait Balance Motor Speed 



This study was supported by grants from the National Alliance for Autism Research, the Rita Rudel Foundation, CDC U10/CCU320408 (to CJN) and NIH: K08 NS02039, K02 NS44850, and R01 NS048527 (to SHM), K01MH01824 (to MCG), DAM D17-00-1-0548, P30 HD240614P50, NS 353359, MH 52432R29, and P01 HD35468


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva M. Jansiewicz
    • 1
  • Melissa C. Goldberg
    • 2
  • Craig J. Newschaffer
    • 3
  • Martha B. Denckla
    • 4
  • Rebecca Landa
    • 2
  • Stewart H. Mostofsky
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryKennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins University School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, and PediatricsKennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Neurology and PsychiatryKennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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