Locomotor and Object Control Skills of Children Diagnosed with Autism

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Sheri L. Berkeley Northern Illinois University

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Lauriece L. Zittel Northern Illinois University

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Lisa V. Pitney Northern Illinois University

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Stacia E. Nichols Northern Illinois University

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The purpose of this study was to examine the locomotor and object control skills of children, ages 6–8 years, with autism and to compare their performances with the norms reported by Ulrich (1985) for the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD). Consistent with trends from the general population, differences were found between boys (n = 10) and girls (n = 5) with the largest differences found in the object control skill performances. Overall fundamental skill delays were demonstrated by 73% of all participants, placing them in the poor and very poor TGMD performance categories. These findings support the need to assess the gross motor skills of young children with autism in addition to other developmental skill areas outlined in diagnostic manuals.

The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Northern Illinois University, Anderson Hall, DeKalb, IL 60115. E-mail <lzape@niu.edu>.

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