A multidisciplinary perspective on motor impairment as an early behavioural marker in children with autism spectrum disorder

May, Tamara, McGinley, Jennifer, Murphy, Anna, Hinkley, Trina, Papadopoulos, Nicole, Williams, Katrina J, McGillivray, Jane, Enticott, Peter G, Leventer, Richard J and Rinehart, Nicole J 2016, A multidisciplinary perspective on motor impairment as an early behavioural marker in children with autism spectrum disorder, Australian psychologist, vol. 51, no. 4, Autism spectrum disorder : research and practice, special issue, pp. 296-303, doi: 10.1111/ap.12225.

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Title A multidisciplinary perspective on motor impairment as an early behavioural marker in children with autism spectrum disorder
Author(s) May, TamaraORCID iD for May, Tamara orcid.org/0000-0001-8705-4180
McGinley, Jennifer
Murphy, Anna
Hinkley, TrinaORCID iD for Hinkley, Trina orcid.org/0000-0003-2742-8579
Papadopoulos, NicoleORCID iD for Papadopoulos, Nicole orcid.org/0000-0001-9057-1672
Williams, Katrina J
McGillivray, JaneORCID iD for McGillivray, Jane orcid.org/0000-0003-2000-6488
Enticott, Peter GORCID iD for Enticott, Peter G orcid.org/0000-0002-6638-951X
Leventer, Richard J
Rinehart, Nicole JORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole J orcid.org/0000-0001-6109-3958
Journal name Australian psychologist
Volume number 51
Issue number 4
Season Autism spectrum disorder : research and practice, special issue
Start page 296
End page 303
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Milton, Qld.
Publication date 2016-08
ISSN 0005-0067
Keyword(s) Social Sciences
Psychology, Multidisciplinary
autism spectrum disorder
early diagnosis
Summary Objectives: There is no medical test for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a heterogeneous condition currently defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5) by dysfunction in social, communication, and behavioural dimensions. There is agreement in the literature that the motor profile of ASD may hold the key to improving clinical and diagnostic definition, with DSM-5 now referring to motor deficits, including “odd gait” (p. 55), as part of the ASD clinical description. This review describes the history of motor impairment in ASD, types of motor problems, and age-related motor findings and highlights evidence gaps and future research. Method: A narrative review is provided of the research literature describing motor impairment in ASD and its ability to differentiate between ASD versus non-ASD cohorts. Results: Findings show differences in motor development in children with ASD from infancy onwards, including difficulties across motor coordination, arm movements, gait, and postural stability. Motor disturbance may appear in young children with ASD prior to social and language difficulties becoming clinically apparent. However, challenges remain in defining and measuring the early motor profile that is specific to ASD. Despite well-established motor impairments in ASD, there is a lack of evidence regarding which motor-based interventions will be effective in this group. Conclusions: Motor impairment holds promise as an early diagnostic sign, a behavioural marker, and a means by which to improve identification and possibly phenotypic delineation in ASD. Further research is required to determine whether motor abnormalities can sensitively differentiate ASD from other developmental conditions and to establish evidenced-based interventions to reduce the associated impairment.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/ap.12225
Field of Research 1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Science
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Australian Psychological Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085994

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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