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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2018 Feb 20;14:597-605. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S153102. eCollection 2018.

IQ discrepancy differentiates levels of fine motor skills and their relationship in children with autism spectrum disorders.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chi-Mei Medical Center.
Department of Recreation and Health Care Management, Cha Nan University of Pharmacy and Science.
Department of Pediatrics.
Department of Psychiatry, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Da Chien General Hospital, Miaoli.
Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.



We investigated 1) the impact of differences in intelligence quotient discrepancy (IQD) on motor skills of preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); 2) the relationships between IQD and motor skills in preschool-aged children with ASD.


A total of 127 ASD preschool-aged children were divided into three groups according to the size of the IQD: IQD within 1 standard deviation (1SD; EVENIQ; n=81), discrepantly higher verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ; n=22; VIQ>performance intelligence quotient [PIQ] above 1SD [≥15 points]), and discrepantly higher PIQ (n=24; PIQ>VIQ above 1SD [≥15 points]). Children's IQD and motor skills were determined with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence™ - Fourth Edition and the motor subtests of the Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Toddlers (CDIIT), respectively.


One-way analysis of variance revealed significant group differences for the fine motor domain of the CDIIT and the visual-motor coordination subtest (F=3.37-4.38, p<0.05). Children with discrepantly higher PIQ were associated with better fine motor skills than were children with even IQD and those with discrepantly higher VIQ, and vice versa. IQD (PIQ - VIQ) had significant positive correlations with the fine motor domain and fine motor subtests of the CDIIT (r=0.18-0.29, p<0.05).


The IQD can identify different levels of fine motor skills in preschool-aged children with ASD. This study suggests important implications for clinicians, therapists, and researchers: discrepantly higher PIQ could be related to better visual-motor coordination, and discrepantly higher VIQ could be related to poor visual-motor coordination. Furthermore, the results support that when therapists are working with preschool-aged children with ASD who are developing fine motor skills or undertaking fine motor tasks related to visual-motor coordination, they may need to pay attention to the children's IQD.


autistic disorder; child; intelligence discrepancy; motor development

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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