Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 2241–2248 | Cite as

Motor and Tactile-Perceptual Skill Differences Between Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Typically Developing Individuals Ages 5–21

  • Sana M. N. Abu-Dahab
  • Elizabeth R. Skidmore
  • Margo B. Holm
  • Joan C. Rogers
  • Nancy J. Minshew


We examined motor and tactile-perceptual skills in individuals with high-functioning autism (IHFA) and matched typically developing individuals (TDI) ages 5–21 years. Grip strength, motor speed and coordination were impaired in IHFA compared to matched TDI, and the differences between groups varied with age. Although tactile-perceptual skills of IHFA were impaired compared to TDI on several measures, impairments were significant only for stereognosis. Motor and tactile-perceptual skills should be assessed in children with IHFA and intervention should begin early because these skills are essential to school performance. Impairments in coordination and stereognosis suggest a broad though selective under-development of the circuitry for higher order abilities regardless of domain that is important in the search for the underlying disturbances in neurological development.


Autism Motor skills Coordination Strength Tactile-perceptual skills Stereognosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sana M. N. Abu-Dahab
    • 1
  • Elizabeth R. Skidmore
    • 2
  • Margo B. Holm
    • 2
  • Joan C. Rogers
    • 2
  • Nancy J. Minshew
    • 3
  1. 1.Occupational Therapy Department, Faculty of Rehabilitation SciencesThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, School of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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