Thursday, May 15, 2008
Champagne Terrace/Bordeaux (Novotel London West)
N. M. M. Correia , Gabinete de Actividade Física Adaptada, Faculdade de Desporto da Universidade do Porto / Associação Portuguesa para as Perturbações do Desenvolvimento e Autismo Norte, Porto, Portugal
M. A. M. Silva , Gabinete de Actividade Física Adaptada, Faculdade de Desporto da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
M. O. F. Vasconcelos , Laboratório de Aprendizagem e Controlo Motor, Faculdade de Desporto da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Background: The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a global development disorder (Marques, 2000). Usually, subjects with ASD present disturbances in gait pattern, global and fine motor coordination and motor stereotypes (Adams et al., 2004; Milne et al., 2006). Left-handedness or an ambiguous manual preference reveals a higher incidence in people with ASD than in general population (McManus and Cornish, 1997; Hauck and Dewey, 2001).
Objectives: The aim of this study was (i) to assess manual preference in each group (ASD and non clinical); (ii) to compare motor coordination levels between groups, according to sex, age (16-30 yrs old and 30-46 yrs old) and handedness (right-handers and left-handers).
Methods: The sample was composed by 130 subjects of both sexes, between 16 and 46 years old, divided in 2 groups. The ASD group had 65 subjects, and the nonclinical group had 65 impaired normal subjects. Subjects’ manual preference and motor coordination were assessed. This last comprises (i) dynamic balance; (ii) general coordination; (iii) eye-hand coordination; (iv) eye-foot coordination.
Results: Results showed that the nonclinical group, when compared with the ASD group, presented a statistically significant higher performance in the dynamic balance, general coordination, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination. In the manual preference, the ASD group presented a higher percentage of left-handers when compared with their counterparts.
Conclusions: The results of our study presented, as we expected, significant differences between the ASD subjects and non clinical subjects in the motor coordination levels. The more important differences appeared in global motor coordination tests when compared to the fine ones, presenting the ASD subjects more variation in relation to the non clinical subjects. The ASD subjects’ left-handed percentage is significantly higher when compared with that of the non clinical group.