Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 209–217 | Cite as

Fundamental Movement Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Kerri L. StaplesEmail author
  • Greg Reid
Original Paper


Delays and deficits may both contribute to atypical development of movement skills by children with ASD. Fundamental movement skills of 25 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (ages 9–12 years) were compared to three typically developing groups using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2). The group matched on chronological age performed significantly better on the TGMD-2. Another comparison group matched on movement skill demonstrated children with ASD perform similarly to children approximately half their age. Comparisons to a third group matched on mental age equivalence revealed the movement skills of children with ASD are more impaired than would be expected given their cognitive level. Collectively, these results suggest the movement skills of children with ASD reflect deficits in addition to delays.


Autism spectrum disorders Movement Development Gross motor 



Kerri Staples is now at the University of Regina. This research was part of a doctoral dissertation supported by an Autism Research Training program (CIHR, Autism Speaks, and FRSQ), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and research grants from McGill University and Special Olympics awarded to the first author. Thank-you to Matt Steven, Alissa Apa, Myléne Boudreau, and Emma Steven for their invaluable assistance throughout data collection and analysis. A huge thank-you goes to the schools, teachers, and children who made this research possible. A version of this manuscript was presented at the North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Physical EducationMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Kinesiology and Health StudiesUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada

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