Balance and Gross Motor Skills Impairments Characterize Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Recent studies indicate that motor impairments may be the one of the first signs of atypical development in ASD. The aim of the present study was to examine the motor function of young children with ASD, aged 4 to 6 years, in comparison to two groups of age- and gender-matched intellectually disabled (ID) and typically developing (TD) children. In total, 60 children, (20 ASD, 20 ID and 20 TD) participated in the study. The motor skills of the participants were assessed on eight subtests of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) and seven clinical tests on fine and gross motor skills as well as on balance. Children with ASD had statistically significant lower performance than the TD children and children with ID in tests that examine gross motor skills and balance. Additionally, both ASD and ID groups presented significantly lower performance than TD group in fine motor tasks, but there was no significant difference between the two clinical groups. This study highlighted the specificity of motor impairment in ASD comparing the performance of children with ASD with a clinical group (ID) and a non-clinical group (TD). The present findings align with previous studies which support specific motor impairments of children with ASD and contribute to a better understanding of the specific and subtle motor impairments in ASD as well as to early diagnosis, clinical stratification, and treatment targets.

Author Information
Fotini Tsiftzi, University of Thessaly, Greece
Despina Papoudi, University of Thessaly, Greece
Elias Avramidis, University of Thessaly, Greece
Panayiota Stavroussi, University of Thessaly, Greece
Plousia Misailidi, University of Ioannina, Greece
Filippos Vlachos, University of Thessaly, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2024
Stream: Linguistics, Language & Psychology/Behavioral Science

This paper is part of the ACP2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Tsiftzi F., Papoudi D., Avramidis E., Stavroussi P., Misailidi P., & Vlachos F. (2024) Balance and Gross Motor Skills Impairments Characterize Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders ISSN: 2187-4743 – The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2024 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon