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Motor Impairment in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Friday, 3 May 2013: 09:00-13:00
Banquet Hall (Kursaal Centre)
J. Perrin1, C. Laranjeira2, C. Buchert2, M. Bouvard2, T. Maffre1, M. Huc-Chabrolle3, S. Roux4 and C. Le Menn Tripi3, (1)CRA Midi-Pyrénées, CHU de Toulouse, Toulouse, France, (2)CRA Aquitaine, CH Charles Perrens, Bordeaux, France, (3)CRA Centre, CHRU de Tours, Tours, France, (4)UMR Inserm U930, Tours, France
Background: Although motor disturbances do not constitute a direct factor in an ASD diagnosis, they often impede the adaptation of persons with ASD and play a part in their difficulties in achieving a satisfactory social integration. Efficiently dealing with such motor difficulties requires a better knowledge of the said disturbances.

Objectives:  The aim of the present study is to get to know more precisely the frequency, intensity and characteristics of these motor disturbances throughout the whole spectrum, while also taking into account the diversity in intellectual level and symptom intensity. More largely, the point is to discuss the place of motor disturbances in ASD.

Methods: In order to answer these questions, a prospective multicentre study has been organized, involving several units for diagnostic and functional assessment attached to an Autism Resource Center (CRA Midi Pyrenees, CRA Centre, CRA Aquitaine). The ABC Movement (Henderson & Sugden, 1992) has been used to measure motor troubles both quantitatively (assessment of the level of motor impairment) and qualitatively (clinical characteristics having been listed thanks to the observation ABC-M checklist). We used ADOS, more particularly the Ghotam et al. algorithm (2007) to measure the intensity of autistic symptomatology. Lastly, cognitive level was assessed through several tools (Whesler scales (WPPSI, WISC), K-ABC, EDI-R).

Results:  70 children aged 4 to 12 were part of this study. The results show that, in accordance with our hypotheses, motor troubles in children with ASD are frequent and intense and affect the whole spectrum. Moreover, the level of motor impairment appears to be correlated with the cognitive level but seems independent from symptomatology intensity. Lastly, various motor profiles seem to have been distinguished.

Conclusions: Motor disorders appear to be a central feature in ASD. Taking into account this dimension in the evaluation and functional diagnostic appears fundamental to clarify the most effective therapeutic.

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