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Motor Coordination in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Synthesis and Meta-Analysis

Abstract

Are motor coordination deficits an underlying cardinal feature of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Database searches identified 83 ASD studies focused on motor coordination, arm movements, gait, or postural stability deficits. Data extraction involved between-group comparisons for ASD and typically developing controls (N = 51). Rigorous meta-analysis techniques including random effects models, forest and funnel plots, I 2, publication bias, fail-safe analysis, and moderator variable analyses determined a significant standardized mean difference effect equal to 1.20 (SE = 0.144; p < 0.0001; Z = 10.49). This large effect indicated substantial motor coordination deficits in the ASD groups across a wide range of behaviors. The current overall findings portray motor coordination deficits as pervasive across diagnoses, thus, a cardinal feature of ASD.

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References

References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis. Asterisks do not precede the in-text citations to studies

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Acknowledgments

Kimberly A. Fournier and Chris J. Hass were supported by an award from Autism Speaks. James H. Cauraugh was partially supported by a grant from the American Heart Association. The authors of this investigation do not have any professional relationships with companies or manufacturers who may benefit from the results of the present study.

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Correspondence to James H. Cauraugh.

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Fournier, K.A., Hass, C.J., Naik, S.K. et al. Motor Coordination in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Synthesis and Meta-Analysis. J Autism Dev Disord 40, 1227–1240 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-010-0981-3

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Keywords

  • ASD
  • Motor coordination and impairments
  • Meta-analysis