Motor coordination impairment in children with autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study using Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 Checklist: Minerva Pediatrica

G. Purpura, F. Fulceri, V. Puglisi, P. Masoni, A. Contaldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Some research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience diverse motor difficulties that appear closely related to the severity of symptomatology, including repetitive behaviors. Therefore, motor assessment in ASD has crucial relevance in order to plan a specific intervention. The aim of this study is to assess and describe the motor functioning in school-aged children with ASDand to evaluate the relationship between their motor profile and clinical features. METHODS: The Movement Assessment Battery for Children - second edition (M-ABC2) Checklist was administered to twenty children with ASD, aged between 5 and 13.5 years. The motor profile of the sample was analyzed and then the relationship between the motor functioning and the clinical characteristics of subjects (age, treatment duration, intellectual functioning and repetitive behaviors) was investigated. RESULTS: Seventy percent of our sample has motor difficulties, especially in aiming and catching skills, balance and manual dexterity. Poorer performance was related to a higher frequency and intensity of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Motor difficulties in children with ASD affect specific skills that imply the ability to integrate the perception with the action for anticipating and controlling the movement in a well-coordinated way. This result, along with the finding of an increased severity of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors in these children, emphasizes the close link between motor and "core" symptoms in ASD. © 2016 EDIZIONIMINERVAMEDICA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Pediatr.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autistic disorder
  • Motor skills disorders
  • Article
  • autism
  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule
  • checklist
  • child
  • clinical article
  • clinical feature
  • disease severity
  • female
  • human
  • intellectual assessment
  • intellectual impairment
  • male
  • motor coordination
  • motor dysfunction
  • Movement Assessment Battery for Children
  • psychometry
  • quality of life
  • questionnaire
  • school child
  • stereotypy
  • treatment duration
  • Wechsler intelligence scale
  • adolescent
  • analysis of variance
  • cognition
  • complication
  • health survey
  • physiology
  • pilot study
  • preschool child
  • procedures
  • psychomotor disorder
  • task performance
  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Checklist
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder
  • Task Performance and Analysis


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