Acknowledgements We are grateful to the children and families who participated in the study and to the clinical teams in South Thames, whose collaboration made the study possible. We thank Iris Carcani-Rathwell, Caron Coleman, Rachael Fallows, Greg Pasco, David Meldrum, Amarlie Ousdine, Samantha Ross, Emma Rowley, Vicky Slonims and Martha Turner for their help with assessments. The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health.
Impairment in movement skills of children with autistic spectrum disorders
Article first published online: 3 FEB 2009
© The Authors. Journal compilation © Mac Keith Press 2008
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 51, Issue 4, pages 311–316, April 2009
How to Cite
GREEN, D., CHARMAN, T., PICKLES, A., CHANDLER, S., LOUCAS, T., SIMONOFF, E. and BAIRD, G. (2009), Impairment in movement skills of children with autistic spectrum disorders. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 51: 311–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.03242.x
- Issue published online: 18 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 3 FEB 2009
- PUBLICATION DATA Accepted for publication 20th October 2008. Published online 3rd February 2009.
Aim We undertook this study to explore the degree of impairment in movement skills in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and a wide IQ range.
Method Movement skills were measured using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) in a large, well defined, population-derived group of children (n=101: 89 males,12 females; mean age 11y 4mo, SD 10mo; range 10y–14y 3mo) with childhood autism and broader ASD and a wide range of IQ scores. Additionally, we tested whether a parent-completed questionnaire, the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ), was useful in identifying children who met criteria for movement impairments after assessment (n=97 with complete M-ABCs and DCDQs).
Results Of the children with ASD, 79% had definite movement impairments on the M-ABC; a further 10% had borderline problems. Children with childhood autism were more impaired than children with broader ASD, and children with an IQ less than 70 were more impaired than those with IQ more than 70. This is consistent with the view that movement impairments may arise from a more severe neurological impairment that also contributes to intellectual disability and more severe autism. Movement impairment was not associated with everyday adaptive behaviour once the effect of IQ was controlled for. The DCDQ performed moderately well as a screen for possible motor difficulties.
Interpretation Movement impairments are common in children with ASD. Systematic assessment of movement abilities should be considered a routine investigation.