Motor impairment in children with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high functioning autism (HFA) has been reported previously. This study presents results of a quantitative assessment of neuromotor skills in 14-22 year old HFA/AS. Sixteen HFA/AS and 16 IQ-matched controls were assessed by the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment (ZNA). The HFA/AS group showed strongest impairments of dynamic balance skills and diadochokinesis. Motor abilities were associated with degree of social withdrawal in the full sample and severity of current autistic symptoms in the HFA/AS group. Similar motor patterns as in younger children were found in the older adolescents. The association of autistic symptoms with motor performance points towards an essential role of motor impairment in autism spectrum disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive development
- Neuropsychological assessment
- Subcortical band heterotopia