Autism and its effect on motor skills

A study published in April’s edition of the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly journal has taken a closer look at how autism has an effect on the development of gross and finite motor skills in young children.

The study looked closely at the developmental milestones of children between 12 and 33 months of age, taking into account crawling, walking, and picking up objects to inspect them.

A total of 150 children were observed, 101 who later gained a diagnosis and 49 neurotypical children. It was found that those with a diagnosis were typically around six months behind in their development of these specific skills.

Study author, Megan McDonald from the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University told Health Daily:

“It’s not that big a deal if we’re talking about older kids, but for kids between 1 and 3 years old, those are substantial deficits, almost one-third of their life. At that age, they’re like little sponges, we can teach them motor skills.”

The study itself is an indication that motor skills should play a part in early intervention therapies available to parents as treatment usually centres on social interaction.