How does Autism Spectrum Disorder affect motor movement?
We include movement in our social, emotional and physical lives from an early age. At 4 months, a child will kick their arms and legs when they see something funny or an 18 months old will bring their As the child grows, the length and complexity of movement sequences become more sophisticated. However, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often unable to coordinate the variety of movements that are required to accomplish these interactions, as seen from studying the home videos of ASD children in their infancy.
These differences in motor movement development are due to a lot of factors. Most children suffering from ASD find it difficult to coherently time, plan the sequence, and execute the movements in order to relay or do something, like reach for an object or crawl towards somebody. This may be affected by the fact that they have developed poor sensory processes and reflexes. The information that they receive from their environment may not be the same as is perceived by other children. They may be over or under sensitive to smell, light, touch, sound, sight or movement. A child with ASD is also likely to suffer from poor muscle development, meaning his muscle tone and stiffness are decreased. This may require the child to put in more effort and energy to move which in turn will delay its sensory and motor development.