Motor Function & Autism

See also:    Dyspraxia   

Internet Resources

In normal development, the head will maintain a vertical position. A child with an autistic spectrum disorder will often fail to keep his head vertical, instead holding the head in line with the rest of the body.
Karla Gale, Reuters Health Information
Domains of sensory processing, praxis, and motor performance; general assessment guidelines that serve as the foundation for observing individual differences in sensory and motor functioning; qualitative and standardized evaluations for each domain.
G. Gordon Williamson, Marie Anzalone, Barbara Hanft
The autistic child's hyper- emotionality, hyper-sensitivity, would be the result of the lack of language, of all means of social communication.
Robin Allott
The phenomenon of catatonic-like states in people with autistic spectrum disorders is discussed in the context of current knowledge about catatonia as it occurs in severe mental illness and, less frequently documented, in conjunction with developmental disorders. The existing literature on catatonic-like states in people with autistic spectrum disorders is summarized, and it is suggested that such states are not directly comparable with the existing concepts of catatonia. A concept of 'autistic catatonia' is outlined in terms of both its phenomenology and its possible aetiological and maintaining factors. A case study is presented that examines this phenomenon from a cognitive neuropsychological perspective, together with implications for everyday management. The implications of this work for both research and clinical practice are discussed.
Dougal Julian Hare
Catatonia is a later complication of autistic spectrum disorders, which adds considerably to the burden of caring. More research is needed to identify causes, neuropathology, and early signs of vulnerability.
Lorna Wing, Amitta Shah
Even low normal vitamin B12 levels can result in neuropsychiatric abnormalities20; therefore, consideration should be given to supplementing a patient's level to at least 600 pg/ml. It would be interesting to determine vitamin B12 levels in all patients with catatonia to assess the frequency of such an association.
Glenn Catalano et al
These are not simply children with poor handwriting: they are children who are experiencing academic and life skill difficulties because of an underlying motor disorder.
Cheryl Missiuna
Children who do not have the motor competence to cope with the demands of everyday tasks can be found in every classroom and may be described by parents, teachers and peers as clumsy or physically awkward.
Cheryl Missiuna
A. Bertone, L. Mottron
Results from a recent study indicated that neither of the 2 treatment models that are commonly used with young children with motor impairment was effective in enhancing children's rate of motor development or quality of movement, at least over a 1-year time period. These findings add to an increasing body of literature indicating that contemporary motor intervention procedures are not adequately meeting the hopes and vision for motor intervention.
Gerald Mahoney et al
Movement disturbance can clearly have a profound effect on a person's ability to regulate movement in order to effectively communicate, relate, and participate with others.
Autism National Committee
In viewing the family videos... the Teitelbaums found disorders in some or all of the milestones of early motor development, including crawling, walking, lying down, sitting and the ability to right themselves.
University of Florida
The Midline Movements help to integrate binocular vision, binaural hearing, and the left and right sides of the brain and body.
We report that motion coherence thresholds in children with autism are significantly higher than in matched controls. No corresponding difference in form coherence thresholds was found. We interpret this as a specific deficit in dorsal stream function in autism. To examine the possibility of a neural basis for the perceptual and motor related abnormalities frequently cited in autism we tested 23 children diagnosed with autistic disorder, on two tasks specific to dorsal and ventral cortical stream functions. The results provide evidence that autistic individuals have a specific impairment in dorsal stream functioning. We conclude that autism may have common features with other developmental disorders and with early stages of normal development, perhaps reflecting a greater vulnerability of the dorsal system.
Janine Spencer et al
Research suggests that between 50 per cent and 90 per cent of children and adults with AS have problems with motor coordination: locomotion, basic skills, balance, manual dexterity, handwriting, rapid movements, lax joints, rhythm, imitation of movements.
Tony Attwood
Our findings support the view that movement disturbances play an intrinsic part in the phenomenon of autism, that they are present at birth, and that they can be used to diagnose the presence of autism in the first few months of life.
Philip Teitelbaum, Osnat Teitelbaum, Jennifer Nye, Joshua Fryman, Ralph Maurer
In order to imagine and experience some of the frustration movement differences might create, attempt brushing your teeth, writing or eating with the opposite hand; finding your keys in a different location; recalling a person out of context…
Kim Davis
Some individuals with autism may share movement difference characteristics with people who have other disabilities.
Beverly Vicker
In my opinion, this evidence of a movement disorder in autism does not lie at the core of autism but lies at the periphery as a manifestation of impaired social kinesthetic behavior.
Ronald Kallen
Autistic disorder presents in early childhood with marked deviations in social interactions and communication and with a restricted and peculiar range of interests and activities. Although probably a heterogeneous condition, autistic disorder includes a class of individuals who also have subtle neurological impediments manifested as disturbances of movement, balance, posture and gait. We review neuromotor and neurobehavioral assessments for persons with autistic disorder and related conditions to improve the classification of the impairments and to facilitate the utilization of therapies specific for each class.
James R Brasic, John G. Gianutsos
It is not hard to imagine why individuals with movement disturbances would be seen to have difficulties in social communication and interaction, where even a small difference in behavior can have an enormous effect.
Our study focused on pencil grip and its deficits in autism. Results showed that autistic children are very delayed in grip form and used mostly primitive grasps. Only 10% of autistic children aged 4 years and older used mature grips compared with 90% in normal children. However, this results are learning-dependant and must be confirmed with another objects grasping.
D. Hemery, C. Barthélémy, J. Martineau
If those who hold power in the decision process are held accountable for the unwanted risks they impose upon others, both the use of neuroleptics and its inevitable iatrogenesis would probably be reduced.
David Cohen
Research is reviewed that characterizes kinematically the reach-to-grasp movement in children with autism compared with age-matched 'controls'. Unlike the age-matched children, autistic children showed differences in movement planning and execution, supporting the view that movement disturbances may play a part in the phenomenon of autism.
Morena Mari et al
F. Ramus et al
The "emptiness" or deficiency model of autism can be replaced by a view of autism as a movement disturbance or difference -- that is, an underlying problem with expressive movement and its regulation. This positive approach credits the individual with competencies which may not be directly apparent through observing performance alone.
Movement differences are manifested in unusual gait and posture, constant physical movement, or repetitive rocking. Other movement differences tend to become evident at transition points.
Autism National Committee
The first module reviews the literature describing sensory and motor problems in Asperger's Syndrome. The second module discusses the assessment of these problems, and the third discusses intervention including environmental modification and the use of sensory integration techniques.
Infants displayed movement abnormalities... such as characteristic facial paralysis, falling to one side while walking, and failing to keep the head vertical when the body is tilted (the "tilting test").
Roger Highfield, Telegraph Co. UK
A syndrome involving dysfunctional, involuntary movements associated with long-term, chronic use of neuroleptic medications, such as Haldol, Prolixin, and Thorazine.
Stephen Edelson
Broad categories of possible activity areas include physical fitness, basic motor skills, dance and music, individual and group activities, and cooperative games.
Kim Davis

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