Motor Planning

Do Handwriting Problems with Autistic Children Continue into their Teen Years?

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 16, 2010
Abstract: 

A new study suggests that the handwriting problems that affect children with autism are likely to continue into their teenage years. The research found that the teenagers with autism earned 167 points out of 204 total possible points on the handwriting assessment, compared to the 183 points scored by teens in the group without autism. These results showed statistical significance in the study. The teenagers with autism also had motor skill impairments.

Gene Discovery Supports Link Between Handedness And Language-Related Disorders

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 8, 2010
Abstract: 

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, have identified a genetic variant which influences whether a person with dyslexia is more skilled with either the left or right hand. The finding identifies a novel gene for handedness and provides the first genetic evidence to support a much speculated link between handedness and a language-related disorder.

Study Finds that Cognitive Skills in Children with Autism Vary and Improve

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
September 17, 2010
Abstract: 

Although previous research has reported little change over time in theory of mind and executive function skills of children with ASD, this longitudinal study found that most of the children's skills in these areas improved considerably over time: Most of the children had better appreciation of others' thoughts and feelings, and they were better able to plan, regulate, and control their thoughts and actions over the study's three years.

Autism Linked to Multisensory Integration

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
August 20, 2010
Abstract: 

A new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has provided concrete evidence that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) process sensory information such as sound, touch and vision differently than typically developing children.

Mutation Could Point Tourette Treatment

Source: 
Wall Street Journal
Date Published: 
May 6, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers identified a rare genetic mutation that may open a new avenue for treating Tourette syndrome in a study published Wednesday that examined a family in which the father and all eight children suffer from the neurological disorder.

The family's mutation affected a gene required to produce histamine. Pharmaceutical companies are already developing drugs for other conditions that target the brain's histamine system. The study's researchers are planning a clinical trial of adults with Tourette to see if those drugs would help control the motor and vocal tics that characterize the condition.

Neuropsychological performance 10 years after immunization in infancy with thimerosal-containing vaccines

Source: 
Pediatrics, Tozzi AE, Bisiacchi P, Tarantino V, De Mei B, D'Elia L, Chariotti F, Salmaso S.
Date Published: 
January 2009
Year Published: 
2009

Thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative in vaccines administered during infancy, has been suspected to affect neuropsychological development. We compared the neuropsychological performance, 10 years after vaccination, of 2 groups of children exposed randomly to different amounts of thimerosal through immunization. Children who were enrolled in an efficacy trial of pertussis vaccines in 1992–1993 were contacted in 2003. Two groups of children were identified, according to thimerosal content in vaccines assigned randomly in the first year of life (cumulative ethylmercury intake of 62.5 or 137.5 µg), and were compared with respect to neuropsychological outcomes. Eleven standardized neuropsychological tests, for a total of 24 outcomes, were administered to children during school hours. Mean scores of neuropsychological tests in the domains of memory and learning, attention, executive functions, visuospatial functions, language, and motor skills were compared according to thimerosal exposure and gender. Nearly 70% of the invited subjects participated in the neuropsychological assessment (N = 1403). Among the 24 neuropsychological outcomes that were evaluated, only 2 were significantly associated with thimerosal exposure. Girls with higher thimerosal intake had lower mean scores in the finger-tapping test with the dominant hand and in the Boston Naming Test. Given the large number of statistical comparisons performed, the few associations found between thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development might be attributable to chance. The associations found, although statistically significant, were based on small differences in mean test scores, and their clinical relevance remains to be determined.

Infant and Toddler Oral and Manual Motor Skills Predict Later Speech Fluency in Autism

Source: 
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Gernsbacher, Sauer et al
Date Published: 
2008

 

Infant and toddler oral-motor and manual-motor skills inter-correlated significantly, distinguished autistic children from typically developing children, and distinguished autistic children whose current-day speech was minimally fluent, moderately fluent, and highly fluent. These results were corroborated by analysis of historical home video and verified with current-day assessment.