Skip to main content
Log in

Motor Skills in Children Aged 7–10 Years, Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This study used the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC2) to assess motor skills in children aged 7–10 years with autism (n = 18) in comparison to two groups of age-matched typically developing children; a receptive vocabulary matched group (n = 19) and a nonverbal IQ matched group (n = 22). The results supported previous work, as indicated by a significant general motor impairment in the group with autism. However, sub-analysis of the M-ABC2 revealed that there were only 2 out of 8 subcomponent skills which showed universal significant specific deficits for the autism group; i.e. catching a ball and static balance. These results suggest that motor skill deficits associated with autism may not be pervasive but more apparent in activities demanding complex, interceptive actions or core balance ability.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Asperger, H. (1991). ‘Autistic psychopathy’ in childhood. In U. Frith (Ed. & Trans.). Autism and Asperger syndrome (pp. 37–92). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published in 1944).

  • Attwood, T. (1998). Asperger’s syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bauman, M. L. (1992). Motor dysfunction in autism. In A. B. Joesph & R. R. Young (Eds.), Movement disorders in neurology and psychiatry (pp. 659–661). Boston: Blackwell Scientific.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bayley, N. (1993). Bayley scales of infant development manual (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruininks, R. H. (1978). Bruininks-Oseretsky test of motor proficiency manual. Circle Pines, Minnesota: American Guidance Service.

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, J. J., & De Luca, C. J. (1993). Open-loop and closed-loop control of posture: A random walk of centre-of-pressure trajectories. Experimental Brain Research, 95, 308–318.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dunn, L. M., Dunn, L. M., Whetton, C., & Burley, J. (1997). British picture vocabulary scale (2nd ed.). Windsor, UK: NFER-Nelson.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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(10), 734–739.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A.-G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*POWER: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioural, and biomedical sciences. Behaviour Research Methods, 39(2), 175–191.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fitts, P. M. (1954). The information capacity of the human motor system in controlling the amplitude of movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 47(6), 381–391 (Reprinted in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 121(3), 262–269, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  • Folio, M. R., & Fewell, R. R. (2000). Peabody developmental motor scales examiner’s manual (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frith, U. (2003). Autism: Explaining the enigma (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

  • Ghaziuddin, M., & Butler, E. (1998). Clumsiness in autism and Asperger syndrome: A further report. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 42(1), 43–48.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Glazebrook, C., Elliott, D., & Lyons, J. (2006). A kinematic analysis of how young adults with and without autism plan and control goal-directed movements. Motor Control, 10, 244.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Green, D., Baird, G., Barnett, A. L., Henderson, L., Huber, J., & Henderson, S. E. (2002). The severity and nature of motor impairment in Asperger’s syndrome: A comparison with specific developmental disorder of motor function. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(5), 655–668.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Green, D., Charman, T., Pickles, A., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., Simonoff, E., et al. (2009). Impairment in movement skills of children with autistic spectrum disorder. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 51, 311–316.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Henderson, S., & Sugden, D. (1992). The movement assessment battery for children. London: The Psychological Corporation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henderson, S., Sugden, D., & Barnett, A. L. (2007). The movement assessment battery for children (2nd ed.). London: The Psychological Corporation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hilton, C., Wente, L., LaVesser, P., Ito, M., Reed, C., & Herzberg, G. (2007). Relationship between motor skill impairment and severity in children with Asperger syndrome. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 1(4), 339–349.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leary, M. R., & Hill, D. A. (1996). Moving on: Autism and movement disturbance. Mental Retardation, 34, 39–53.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • 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, 23–29.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • 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 B: Biological Sciences, 358, 393–403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ming, X., Brimacombe, M., & Wagner, G. (2007). Prevalence of motor impairment in autism spectrum disorders. Brain and Development, 29(9), 565–570.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Miyahara, M., Tisujii, M., Hori, M., Nakanishi, K., Kageyama, H., & Sugiyama, T. (1997). Brief report: Motor in-coordination in children with Asperger syndrome and learning disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27(5), 595–603.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Provost, B., Lopez, B. R., & Heimerl, S. (2007). A comparison of motor delays in young children: Autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and developmental concerns. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 321–328.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Rinehart, N. J., Tonge, B. J., Bradshaw, J. L., Iansek, R., Enticott, P. G., & Johnson, K. A. (2006). Movement- related potentials in high-functioning autism and Asperger’s disorder. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 48, 272–277.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Staples, K. L., & Reid, G. (2010). Fundamental movement skills and autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 209–217.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stott, D. H., Moyes, F. A., & Henderson, S. E. (1972). The test of motor impairment. Guelph, ON: Brook Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sutera, S., Pandey, J., Esser, E., Rosenthal, M. A., Wilson, L. B., Barton, M., et al. (2007). Predictors of optimal outcome in toddlers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(1), 98–107.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Teitelbaum, P., Teitelbaum, O., Nye, J., Fryman, J., & Maurer, R. G. (1998). Movement Analysis in infancy may be useful for early diagnosis of Autism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95, 13982–13987.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ulrich, D. A. (2000). Test of gross motor development (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-ED.

    Google Scholar 

  • Von Hofsten, C. (2007). Action in development. Developmental Science, 10(1), 54–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wechsler, D., & Naglieri, J. A. (2006). Wechsler nonverbal scale of ability (WNV). San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment.

    Google Scholar 

  • World Health Organisation. (1992). The ICD-10 Classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank the children of Belvoir Park Primary School, Belfast, N. Ireland for participating in this study, and we are indebted to the staff for their cooperation and support.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Caroline P. Whyatt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Whyatt, C.P., Craig, C.M. Motor Skills in Children Aged 7–10 Years, Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 42, 1799–1809 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1421-8

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1421-8

Keywords

Navigation