Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 2241–2248

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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Autism Motor skills Coordination Strength Tactile-perceptual skills Stereognosis 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association [APA]. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amundson, S. J. (1995). Evaluation tool of children’s handwriting. Homer, Alaska: O.T. Kids.Google Scholar
  3. Ayres, J. (2005). Sensory integration and the child (25th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  4. Ayres, J. (2007). Sensory integration and praxis test manual (9th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  5. Balogun, J. A., Akomolafe, C. T., & Amusa, L. O. (1991). Grip strength: Effects of testing posture and elbow position. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 71, 280–283.Google Scholar
  6. Baranek, G. T., Parham, D., & Bodfish, J. W. (2005). Sensory and motor features in autism: Assessment and intervention. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (Vol. 2, pp. 831–857). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Baranek, G. T., Boyd, B. A., Poe, M. D., David, F. J., & Watson, L. R. (2007). Hyperresponsive sensory patterns in young children with autism, developmental delay, and typical development. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 112, 233–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cesaroni, L., & Garber, M. (1991). Exploring the experience of autism through firsthand accounts. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 21, 303–313.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Courchesne, E., & Pierce, K. (2005). Why the frontal cortex in autism might be talking only to itself: Local over-connectivity but long-distance disconnection. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15, 225–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. David, F. J., Baranek, G. T., Giuliani, C. A., Mercer, V. S., Poe, M. D., & Thorpe, D. E. (2009). A pilot study: Coordination of precision grip in children and adolescents with high functioning autism. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 21, 205–211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dowell, L. R., Mahone, E. M., & Mostofsky, S. H. (2009). Association of postural knowledge and basic motor skill with dyspraxia in autism: Implication for abnormalities in distributed connectivity and motor learning. Neuropsychology, 23, 563–570.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dziuk, M. A., Larson, J. C. G., Apostu, A., Mahone, E. M., Denckla, M. B., & Mostofsky, S. H. (2007). Dyspraxia in autism: Association with motor, social, and communicative deficits. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 49, 734–739.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Enticott, P. G., Bradshaw, J. L., Iansek, R., Tonge, B. J., & Rinehart, N. J. (2009). Electrophysiological signs of supplementary-motor-area deficits in high-functioning autism but not Asperger syndrome: An examination of internally cued movement-related potentials. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 51, 787–791.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ferguson, C. J. (2009). An effect size primer: A guide for clinicians and researchers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40, 532–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ghaziuddin, M., Butler, E., Tsai, L., & Ghaziuddin, N. (1994). Is clumsiness a marker for Asperger syndrome? Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 38, 519–527.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grandin, T. (2006). Thinking in pictures: My life with autism. New York, NY: Vintage.Google Scholar
  17. Hager-Ross, C., & Rosblad, B. (2002). Norms for grip strength in children ages 4–16 years. Acta Paediatrica, 91, 617–625.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hardan, A. Y., Kilpatrick, M., Keshhavan, M. S., & Minshew, N. J. (2003). Motor performance and anatomic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the basal ganglia in autism. Journal of Child Neurology, 18, 317–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hochhauser, M., & Engel-Yeger, B. (2010). Sensory processing abilities and their relation to participation in leisure activities among children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 746–754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hollingshead, A. B. (1975). Four factor index of social issues. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hyatt, R. H., Whitelaw, M. N., Bhat, A., Scott, S., & Maxwell, J. D. (1990). Association of muscle strength with functional status of elderly people. Age and Ageing, 19, 330–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jansiewicz, E. M., Goldberg, M. C., Newschaffer, C. J., Denckla, M. B., Landa, R., & Mostofsky, S. H. (2006). Motor signs distinguish children with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome from controls. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 613–621.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jeste, S. S. (2011). The neurology of autism spectrum disorders. Current Opinion in Neurology, 24, 132–139.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jong, M. D., Punt, M., Groot, E. D., Minderaa, R. B., & Hadders-Algra, M. (2011). Minor neurological dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 53, 641–646.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Just, M. A., Cherkassky, V. L., Keller, T. A., Kana, R. K., & Minshew, N. J. (2006). Functional and anatomical cortical underconnectivity in autism: Evidence from an fMRI study of an executive function task and corpus callosum morphometry. Cerebral Cortex, 17, 951–961.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.Google Scholar
  27. Mandelbaum, D. E., Stevens, M., Rosenberg, E., Wiznitzer, M., Steinschneider, M., Filipek, P., et al. (2006). Sensorimotor performance in school-age children with autism, developmental language disorder, and low IQ. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 48, 33–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manjiviona, J., & Prior, M. (1995). Comparison of Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autistic children on a test of motor impairment. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25, 23–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mari, M., Castiello, U., Marks, D., Marraffa, C., & Prior, M. (2003). The reach-to-grasp movement in children with autism spectrum disorder. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 358, 393–403.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ming, X., Brimacombe, M., & Wagner, G. C. (2007). Prevalence of motor impairment in autism spectrum disorders. Brain and Development, 29, 565–570.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Minshew, N. J., & Goldstein, G. (1998). Autism as a disorder of complex information processing. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 4, 129–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Minshew, N. J., & Williams, D. L. (2007). The new neurobiology of autism: Cortex, connectivity, and neuronal organization. Archives of Neurology, 64, 945–950.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Minshew, N. J., Goldstein, G., & Siegel, D. (1995). Speech and language in high-functioning autistic individuals. Neuropsychology, 9, 255–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Minshew, N. J., Goldstein, G., & Siegel, D. J. (1997). Neuropsychological functioning in autism: Profile of complex information processing disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 3, 303–316.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Mostofsky, S. H., Powell, S. K., Simmonds, D. J., Goldberg, M. C., Caffo, B., & Pekar, J. J. (2009). Decreased connectivity and cerebellar activity in autism during motor task performance. Brain, 132, 2413–2425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Noterdaeme, M., Wriendt, E., & Hohne, C. (2010). Asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning autism: Language, motor and cognitive profiles. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 19, 475–481.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Reitan, R. M., & Wolfson, D. (1985). The Halsted-Reitan neuropsychological test battery. Tuscon, Arizona: Neuropsychology Press.Google Scholar
  38. Rogers, S. J. (2009). What are infant siblings teaching us about autism in infancy? Autism Research, 2, 125–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rumsey, J. M., & Hamburger, S. D. (1988). Neuropsychological findings in high-functioning men with infantile autism, residual state. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 10, 201–221.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rumsey, J. M., & Hamburger, S. D. (1990). Neuropsychological divergence of high-level autism and severe dyslexia. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 20, 155–168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schipul, S. E., Keller, T. A., & Just, M. A. (2011). Inter-regional brain communication and its disturbance in autism. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 5, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Smith, I. M., & Bryson, S. E. (1998). Gesture imitation in autism I: Nonsymbolic postures and sequences. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 15, 747–770.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Takarae, Y., Mishew, N. J., Luna, B., Krisky, C. M., & Sweeney, J. A. (2004). Pursuit eye movement deficits in autism. Brain, 127, 2584–2594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Williams, D. L., Goldstein, G., & Minshew, N. J. (2006). Neuropsychological functioning in children with autism: Further evidence for disordered complex information-processing. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 279–298.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations