Author(s): Weimer AK, Schatz AM, Lincoln A, Ballantyne AO, Trauner DA
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Abstract Motor impairment has frequently been described in Asperger syndrome (AS), a pervasive developmental disorder included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV). Previous research focusing on this motor dysfunction has yielded inconsistent results, and the "clumsiness" observed clinically remains poorly defined. To clarify further the issue of motor impairment, we compared a group of 10 children and young adults who met DSM-IV criteria for AS with a control group with no neurological impairment. Subjects were matched on age, sex, socioeconomic status, and Verbal IQ. A broad battery of motoric tests was administered. Subjects with AS were found to perform more poorly than controls on tests of apraxia, one-leg balance with eyes closed, tandem gait, and repetitive finger-thumb apposition. No significant differences were found on tests of finger tapping, grooved pegboard, trail making, or visual-motor integration. The pattern of impairments suggests that a proprioceptive deficit may underlie the incoordination observed in AS and that these individuals may be overreliant on visual input to maintain balance and position in space.
This article was published in J Dev Behav Pediatr
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy