Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 321–328 | Cite as

A Comparison of Motor Delays in Young Children: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delay, and Developmental Concerns

  • Beth ProvostEmail author
  • Brian R. Lopez
  • Sandra Heimerl


This study assessed motor delay in young children 21–41 months of age with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and compared motor scores in children with ASD to those of children without ASD. Fifty-six children (42 boys, 14 girls) were in three groups: children with ASD, children with developmental delay (DD), and children with developmental concerns without motor delay. Descriptive analysis showed all children with ASD had delays in gross motor skills, fine motor skills, or both. Children with ASD and children with DD showed significant impairments in motor development compared to children who had developmental concerns without motor delay. Motor scores of young children with ASD did not differ significantly on motor skill measures when compared to young children with DD.


Autism Autism spectrum disorder Early childhood Developmental delay Motor delay Motor development 



We would like to acknowledge all the families that participated in the current study and the assistance of Nae-Hwa Kim for her help. We would also like to acknowledge the Center for Development and Disability, the New Mexico Department of Health, and New Mexico Public Education Department for their support in completing the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth Provost
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Brian R. Lopez
    • 2
  • Sandra Heimerl
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and RehabilitationUniversity of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Center for Development and DisabilityUniversity of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Physical Therapy Program, MSC09 5230, Health Sciences Center1 University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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