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Behav Brain Res. 2014 Aug 1;269:95-102. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.04.011. Epub 2014 Apr 15.

Dyspraxia, motor function and visual-motor integration in autism.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
2
Institute for Neural Computation, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
3
Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC-0959, La Jolla, CA 92093-0959, USA.
4
Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC-0959, La Jolla, CA 92093-0959, USA. Electronic address: jtownsend@ucsd.edu.

Abstract

This project assessed dyspraxia in high-functioning school aged children with autism with a focus on Ideational Praxis. We examined the association of specific underlying motor function including eye movement with ideational dyspraxia (sequences of skilled movements) as well as the possible role of visual-motor integration in dyspraxia. We found that compared to IQ-, sex- and age-matched typically developing children, the children with autism performed significantly worse on: Ideational and Buccofacial praxis; a broad range of motor tests, including measures of simple motor skill, timing and accuracy of saccadic eye movements and motor coordination; and tests of visual-motor integration. Impairments in individual children with autism were heterogeneous in nature, although when we examined the praxis data as a function of a qualitative measure representing motor timing, we found that children with poor motor timing performed worse on all praxis categories and had slower and less accurate eye movements while those with regular timing performed as well as typical children on those same tasks. Our data provide evidence that both motor function and visual-motor integration contribute to dyspraxia. We suggest that dyspraxia in autism involves cerebellar mechanisms of movement control and the integration of these mechanisms with cortical networks implicated in praxis.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Cerebellum; Dyspraxia; Eye movement; Motor; Visual–motor integration

PMID:
24742861
PMCID:
PMC4072207
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2014.04.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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