Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental disorder in America with an estimated 1.148 % growth rate. As reported by the DSM-5, ASD is characterized by a range of social and communicative impairments as well as repetitive behaviors. Although language, social, and cognitive differences are characteristics of ASD, motor difficulties have also been noted. Motor impairment is not a part of the diagnostic criteria for children with ASD. However, the abundance of research literature reporting motor delays in children with autism is significant. Early diagnosis is critical to early educational interventions which have been found to be an effective treatment for mitigating symptoms of ASD in children and even present a promising possibility for prevention. Thus, researchers are increasingly considering the importance of motor function regarding issues in ASD diagnosis due to the observable motor impairment trend.
Gross motor skills are fundamental skills necessary for movement competence and considered the basic building blocks for more complex motor skill development. Gross motor skills refer to goal directed movement patterns that allow children to move through space and respond in a suitable way to a variety of stimuli using larger musculatures. Mastery of these skills is prerequisite to successful introduction of specific sports and games.
Last date updated on June, 2014