An Assessment of the Motor Performance Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Gulf Region
Author: Rehab H. Alsaedi
Citation: Alsaedi, R. H. (2020). An assessment of the motor performance skills of children with autism spectrum disorder in the Gulf region. Brain Sciences, 10(9), 607. doi:10.3390/brainsci10090607
Purpose: The author’s purpose was to identify ratios of motor impairments in kids with ASD to those who didn’t. They also looked to determine if there are difference in motor performance in children with ASD to normally developing children. Finally they wanted to determine how chronological age affected motor performance in those with ASD.
Study population: The study population consisted 119 children with ASD and a control group of 30 typically developing children. All children were between the ages of 6-12 y.o. All subjects were also from three Gulf States.
Methods/outcome measures: This study was designed as an observational study, using a cross sectional design. Once participants were choses, ASD questionnaires were used to confirm the children’s diagnosis. These included the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, Michigan Autism Spectrum Questionnaire, and The Clinician-Rated Severity of Autism Spectrum and Social Communication Disorders. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2)was then used to determine motor performance.
Intervention: No interventions were performed in this study.
Results: The results were presented based on the three main purposes of the article. First, the researchers found children with ASD had greater motor impairments compared to their age related piers without ASD. Second, they found that children with ASD scored lowered on BOT-2 scores compared to normally developing children, with the strength element being their lowest score. And finally, the results showed that children with ASD demonstrated fewer motor deficits as they aged.
Strengths: This article brings to light several items that really show its strengths. First, it is one of the few articles that look at motor control and impairments in children with ASD in non-Westernized countries. It also is strong in its use of the BOT-2, which is a widely recognized outcome for assessing motor function in children.
Limitations: Some of the limitations of this study were the fact that the subjects were only from three Gulf States. The author noted that the particular geographical location had some cultural factors, such as parenting styles and low physical activity expectations, which limit the generalizability of the study. This could also explain why this author found higher levels of motor deficits in children with ASD compared to other studies. Finally, all the subjects in this study had to pass with above or average IQ to participate. This limits the ability to understand and interpret motor function in all children with ASD, including those who may have mental discrepancies.
Conclusion: Children with ASD are more likely to have motor impairments overall compared to normally developing children. However, children with ASD tend to show improvement in motor deficits as they age. For therapist, it is important to assess motor functioning with children diagnosed with ASD to best determine appropriate interventions, which can help improve the child’s social confidence, self esteem, and participation in social activities (Alsaedi, 2020).