A Development Heads Up For Parents Of Young Kids With Autism

Kids with autism are likely to have motor skill deficiencies, finds a new study from Oregon State University. Researchers studied the development and motor skills of 159 children ages 12 months to 33 months, including 110 diagnosed with autism. They found that kids with autism were nearly a year behind their peers in fine motor skills (which can affect the ability to grasp items, like toys or spoons). These children were also six months behind in gross motor skills, including jumping and running.

Most autism treatment plans for young kids with autism focus on social communication; this study, published in the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly journal, indicates that Early Intervention and other treatment plans may need to include treatment for fine and gross motor skills. Parents should also consider adaptive physical education programs, recommends researcher Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Services.

If you think your child with autism is having motor skill issues, speak with your pediatrician and Early Intervention coordinator. This is a key time to get him help. As MacDonald said, ”Recognizing those deficits really early gives us more time to help children catch up to their peers in regards to motor skills…. At that age, kids are like little sponges—we can teach them motor skills.”

From my other blog

When friends don’t get your special needs life

We crashed the autism-friendly Disney Junior Live performance

Does the punishment fit the crime for this special needs bully?

 

 Image of child brushing doll’s hair via Shutterstock

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