Motor deficits in autism differ from that of developmental coordination disorder – Mai 2023


1. Martel M, Finos L, Bahmad S, Koun E, Salemme R, Sonié S, Fourneret P, Schmitz C, Roy AC. Motor deficits in autism differ from that of developmental coordination disorder. Autism;2023 (May 25):13623613231171980.

A vast majority of individuals with autism spectrum disorder experience impairments in motor skills. Those are often labelled as additional developmental coordination disorder despite the lack of studies comparing both disorders. Consequently, motor skills rehabilitation programmes in autism are often not specific but rather consist in standard programmes for developmental coordination disorder. Here, we compared motor performance in three groups of children: a control group, an autism spectrum disorder group and a developmental coordination disorder group. Despite similar level of motor skills evaluated by the standard movement assessment battery for children, in a Reach-to-Displace Task, children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental coordination disorder showed specific motor control deficits. Children with autism spectrum disorder failed to anticipate the object properties, but could correct their movement as well as typically developing children. In contrast, children with developmental coordination disorder were atypically slow, but showed a spared anticipation. Our study has important clinical implications as motor skills rehabilitations are crucial to both populations. Specifically, our findings suggest that individuals with autism spectrum disorder would benefit from therapies aiming at improving their anticipation, maybe through the support of their preserved representations and use of sensory information. Conversely, individuals with developmental coordination disorder would benefit from a focus on the use of sensory information in a timely fashion.

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