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J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Sep;42(9):1799-809. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1421-8.

Motor skills in children aged 7-10 years, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Queen's University Belfast, 18-30 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 5BN, Northern Ireland, UK.


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.

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