Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31823e071a
Research Articles

Motor Characteristics of Young Children Referred for Possible Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lane, Alison PhD, OTR/L; Harpster, Karen PhD, OTR/L; Heathcock, Jill MPT, PhD

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine motor characteristics of children referred for evaluation for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III).

Methods: BSID-III scores were collected through retrospective chart review for 30 children (mean age = 31.57 ± 6 months) admitted to an outpatient autism evaluation clinic.

Results: Children referred to an ASD clinic demonstrated a mean delay of 6 months for gross motor skills and 8 months for fine motor skills. There were no differences in total score or item analysis in group comparisons of motor characteristics in young children who did or did not receive a diagnosis of ASD.

Conclusions: These results suggest that a delay in fine and gross motor skills at an early age is a characteristic of infants referred to an ASD clinic. Furthermore, the BSID-III may not be sensitive enough to distinguish between referred children with and without ASD.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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