Motor Skills, Emotions and Autism

Autism published research on the relationship between motor skills, emotional/behavioral disturbances and autism.  The sample consisted of 22 children with Asperger’s disorder (AD), 23 children with high functioning autism (HFA), 8 children with low functioning autism (LFD) and 20 typically developing children.  Two assessments were completed for each child: Movement Assessment Battery for Children to measure of motor impairment, and the Developmental Behavioural Checklist to measure emotional/behavioral disturbance.

The results indicated the following:

  • HFA group had more difficulty with motor items, such as ball skills and balance, than did the AD group.
  • significant positive correlations between impairments in motor proficiency (in particular ball skills and balance) and emotional/behavioral disturbance, autistic symptoms and communication disturbance.

Reference: Nicole Papadopoulos,Jennifer McGinley,Bruce Tonge,John Bradshaw, Kerryn Saunders, Anna Murphy, and Nicole Rinehart. Motor proficiency and emotional/behavioural disturbance in autism and Asperger’s disorder: another piece of the neurological puzzle? Autism November 2012 16: 627-640, first published on September 26, 2011 doi:10.1177/1362361311418692.