Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Show Impairments During Dynamic Versus Static Grip‐force Tracking

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Autism Research

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Impairments in visuomotor integration (VMI) may contribute to anomalous development of motor, as well as social‐communicative, skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it is relatively unknown whether VMI impairments are specific to children with ASD versus children with other neurodevelopmental disorders. As such, this study addressed the hypothesis that children with ASD, but not those in other clinical control groups, would show greater deficits in high‐VMI dynamic grip‐force tracking versus low‐VMI static presentation. Seventy‐nine children, aged 7–17 years, participated: 22 children with ASD, 17 children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), 18 children with Attention‐Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 22 typically developing (TD) children. Two grip‐force tracking conditions were examined: (1) a low‐VMI condition (static visual target) and (2) a high‐VMI condition (dynamic visual target). Low‐frequency force oscillations <0.5 Hz during the visuomotor task were also examined. Two‐way ANCOVAs were used to examine group x VMI and group x frequency effects (α = 0.05). Children with ASD showed a difficulty, above that seen in the ADHD/FASD groups, tracking dynamic, but not static, visual stimuli as compared to TD children. Low‐frequency force oscillations... (See full abstract in article).


Autism spectrum disorder; Grip; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Psychophysiologic; Visuomotor


Motor Control



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