Fine and Gross Motor Competence in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder




autism, motor competence, disability, academic success, children


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by challenges with social communication and the display of restrictive and repetitive behaviors. Research has also shown that children with ASD are behind their typically developing peers in motor skill competence. However, limited studies have used the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 (BOT-2) to assess motor competence of children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to fill the gap and comprehensively examine the fine and gross motor competence of children with ASD. Fifty-three children with ASD between the ages of 7 to 14 participated in the study. This study used the BOT-2 to comprehensively assess the children’s fine and gross motor competence. The children with ASD were significantly delayed in all fine and gross motor subtests (i.e., fine motor precision, fine motor integration, manual dexterity, upper-limb coordination, bilateral coordination, balance, running speed, and strength and agility) compared to their typically developing peers. The children with ASD were impaired on all fine and gross motor composites of the BOT-2, with all scoring in the well below average category of the BOT-2. Incorporating fine and gross motor skill practice into the therapy treatments and daily activities of children with ASD is recommended for improvement of their social interaction, communication, and reduction in repetitive behaviors in school and physical activity participation.

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Author Biography

Ting Liu, Texas State University, San Marcos

Associate professor, Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos.