Relationship between motor, imitation and, early social communication skills in children with autism
Background: The aim of this study was investigation the association of motor skills and imitation ability with early social communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Method: Twenty children with ASD aged 3-5 years (M=4.05, SD=0.55) were tested with Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2), the Motor Imitation Scale (MIS) and, the Early Social Communication Scales (ESCS).
Results: There was significant and strong correlation between TGMD total score and imitation total score(r =.776; p <0.001).However, the relationship between MIS subscales and TGMD-2 locomotor subtest scores was not significant (P>0.05). A significant correlation was found between MIS and TGMD total scores with ESCS subscales except social interaction and responding to behavioral requests subscales.
Conclusion: The results support previous studies that indicated both imitation ability and motor function have association with some early social communication skills. However, these results showed the needs for clinicians to target imitation and motor skills in early intervention programs in ASD.
Association D-AP, eds. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
Kim H, Carlson AG, Curby TW, Winsler A. Relations among motor, social, and cognitive skills in pre-kindergarten children with developmental disabilities. Res Dev Disabil 2016; 53-54: 43-60.
Darrah J, Hodge M, Magill-Evans J, Kembhavi G. Stability of serial assessments of motor and communication abilities in typically developing infants—implications for screening. Early Hum Dev 2003; 72: 97-110.
Williams JHG, Whiten A, Singh T. A systematic review of action imitation in autistic spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2004; 34: 285-299.
Hobson RP, Hobson JA. Dissociable aspects of imitation: A study in autism. J Exp Child Psychol 2008; 101: 170-185.
Ingersoll B, Schreibman L. Teaching reciprocal imitation skills to young children with autism using a naturalistic behavioral approach: Effects on language, pretend play, and joint attention. J Autism Dev Disord 2006; 36: 487-505.
Hobson RP, Lee A. Imitation and identification in autism. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1999; 40: 649-659.
Vanvuchelen M, Roeyers H, De Weerdt W. Nature of motor imitation problems in school-aged boys with autism a motor or a cognitive problem? Autism 2007; 11: 225-240.
Chevallier C, Kohls G, Troiani V, Brodkin ES, Schultz RT. The social motivation theory of autism. Trends Cogn Sci 2012; 16: 231-239.
Williams JHG, Whiten A, Suddendorf T, Perrett DI. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2001; 25:287-295.
Mostofsky SH, Dubey P, Jerath VK, Jansiewicz EM, Goldberg MC, Denckla MB. Developmental dyspraxia is not limited to imitation in children with autism spectrum disorders. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2006; 12: 314-326.
Bhat AN, Galloway JC, Landa RJ. Relation between early motor delay and later communication delay in infants at risk for autism. Infant Behav Dev 2012; 35: 838-846.
Leonard HC, Bedford R, Pickles A, Hill EL, Team B. Predicting the rate of language development from early motor skills in at-risk infants who develop autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 2015; 13: 15-24.
Gernsbacher MA, Sauer EA, Geye HM, Schweigert EK, Hill Goldsmith H. Infant and toddler oral‐and manual‐motor skills predict later speech fluency in autism. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2008; 49: 43-50.
Pusponegoro HD, Efar P, Soebadi A, Firmansyah A, Chen H-J, Hung K-L. Gross Motor Profile and Its Association with Socialization Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pediatr Neonatol 2016; 57: 501-507.
Stone WL, Ousley OY, Littleford CD. Motor imitation in young children with autism: What's the object? J Abnorm Child Psychol 1997; 25: 475-485.
Ulrich DA. Test of gross motor development-2. Austin: Prod-Ed; 2000.
Mundy P, Delgado C, Block J, Venezia M, Hogan A, Seibert J. Early social communication scales (ESCS). Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami; 2003.
Fogassi L, Ferrari PF, Gesierich B, Rozzi S, Chersi F, Rizzolatti G. Parietal lobe: from action organization to intention understanding. Science 2005; 3080: 662-667.
Karasik LB, Tamis‐LeMonda CS, Adolph KE. Transition from crawling to walking and infants’ actions with objects and people. Child Dev 2011; 82:1199-1209.
McDuffie A, Turner L, Stone W, Yoder P, Wolery M, Ulman T. Developmental correlates of different types of motor imitation in young children with autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 2007; 37: 401-412.
Zachor DA, Ilanit T, Itzchak EB. Autism severity and motor abilities correlates of imitation situations in children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 2010; 4: 438-443.
lngersoll B. Brief report: Pilot randomized controlled trial of reciprocal imitation training for teaching elicited and spontaneous imitation to children with autism. J Autism Dev Disord 2010; 40: 1154–1160.
Ingersoll B, Lalonde K. The impact of object and gesture imitation training on language use in children with autism spectrum disorder. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2010; 53: 1040-1051.
Brandone AC. Infants’ social and motor experience and the emerging understanding of intentional actions. Dev Psychol 2015; 51: 512-523
Clearfield MW, Osborne CN, Mullen M. Learning by looking: Infants’ social looking behavior across the transition from crawling to walking. J Exp Child Psychol 2008; 100: 297-307.
MacDonald M, Lord C, Ulrich DA. The relationship of motor skills and social communicative skills in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. Adapt Phys Activ Q 2013; 30: 271-282.
Assaf M, Hyatt CJ, Wong CG, Johnson MR, Schultz RT, Hendler T, et al. Mentalizing and motivation neural function during social interactions in autism spectrum disorders. Neuroimage Clin 2013; 3: 321-331.
Copyright (c) 2017 Iranian Journal of Psychiatry
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.