November 14, 2009
Autism And Motor-Skill Problems
This week, while reading articles on NPR, I came across an article that perhaps focused the most on my son: Â Writing Study Ties Autism To Motor-Skill Problems. Â Basically the handwriting of several autistic children were compared, and it was found that most autistic children had trouble writing. Â This isn't anything new, but the reason why they can't write was interesting: Â the motor planning capacity in the brain was diminished, making fine motor skills difficult.What are fine motor skills? Â Well, handling a pencil is one example. Â Another is buttoning a coat, or zipping up a zipper. Â Another example can be the capability to tell the tongue to move properly to control sound, rendering speech. Â Children without fine motor skills tend to appear clumsy, and are unable to control their facial expressions in social situations. Â Starting to sound familiar?So what does it matter? Â Parents with autistic children already know they have these symptoms, as they represent classic autistic behavior. Â But what it represents is a method of identifying autism sooner, and therefore finding a way to help children at an earlier age.There was no mention of a gene or other cause for this particular symptom, but that doesn't matter at this stage. Â It's a relationship that has been established, and can be explored more directly. Â If you are interested in reading the article, it is linked above.