Autism-Open Access

Autism-Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7890

+44 1223 790975


Motor planning and End-state Comfort in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jessica L Simermeyer and Caroline J Ketcham

Autism Spectrum Disorders are a cluster of disorders that effect communication, behavior and social ability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released that Autism affects 1 in 88 U.S. children (2012). The increasing prevalence of Autism has led to an increase in the body of research regarding Autism, however, there has not been extensive investigation into how movement and motor skills may play a role in this population. Those that have looked into movement and Autism have found that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders may show impairments in motor planning and coordination. This study investigates motor planning and ability in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders through a battery of fine and gross motor tasks, as well as postural components through alteration of sensory input, in order to determine if their ability to plan and complete motor tasks differs from their typically developing peers. The study includes children with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as typically developing children, between the ages of 5 and 13. The battery of tasks consisted of a dial-turning task, “Simon-Says” imitation task, drawing task, and beading task. Results show that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders show greater variability in hand selection during the dial turning task and a tendency to plan movements that are not in accordance with end state comfort. In addition, those withan Autism Spectrum Disorder displayed decreased ability to correctly imitate movements, had lower scores on both the drawing and sticker tasks, and took longer to bead the bracelet than their neurotypical peers.