New early signs of autism identified

Researchers at Oregon State University recently found a relationship between the development of basic motor skills and the severity of autism in very young children. The discovery is believed to be the first to show a direct link between the two.

The research found that children with autism were nearly a year behind in motor skills compared to their peers.

The new findings might give treatment plans a complete overhaul, with development of fine and gross motor skills added to put them on the same playing field as peers.

“It’s not that big a deal if we’re talking about older kids, but for kids between 1 and 3 years old, those are substantial deficits, almost one-third of their life,” Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, says in a news release.

Introducing adaptive physical education programs can give children with autism a headstart just like other programs do with IQ, language and play skills, she says.

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