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J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Jul;42(7):1446-58. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1383-x.

Emotion, intent and voluntary movement in children with autism. An example: the goal directed locomotion.

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  • 1UFR Sciences et Techniques des Activités Physiques et Sportives, EA 2931, 200 Avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre Cedex, France.


This article focuses on the impact of intentionality on goal directed locomotion in healthy and autistic children. Closely linked with emotions and motivation, it is directly connected with movement planning. Is planning only preserved when the goal of the action appears motivating for healthy and autistic children? Is movement programming similar for autistic and healthy children, and does it vary according to the emotional valence of the object? Moving in a straight line, twenty autistic and healthy children had to retrieve a positive or aversive emotional valence object. The results suggest planning and programming are preserved in an emotionally positive situation. However, in an aversive situation, autistic children appear to have a deficit in terms of planning and sometimes programming.

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