Relationship between early motor milestones and severity of restricted and repetitive behaviors in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Mirko Uljarević, Darren Hedley, Gail A. Alvares, Kandice J. Varcin, Andrew J. O. Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This study explored the relationships between the later age of achievement of early motor milestones, current motor atypicalities (toe walking), and the severity of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of 147 children and adolescents with ASD (Mage=8.09 years, SD=4.28; 119 males) completed an early developmental milestones questionnaire and the Social Responsiveness Scale as a measure of Insistence on Sameness (IS) and Repetitive Mannerisms (RM). Two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test whether RM and IS behaviors were predicted by early motor milestones, or current toe walking. The final model predicting RM accounted for 15% of the variance (F=3.02, p=.009), with toe walking as a unique and independent predictor of RM scores (t=3.568, p=.001). The final model predicting IS accounted for 19.1% of variance in IS scores (F=4.045, p=.001), with chronological age (CA) (t=2.92, p=.004), age when first standing (t=2.09, p=.038), and toe walking (t=2.53, p=.013) as unique independent predictors. Toe walking (t=2.4, p=.018) and age when first sitting (t=2.08, p=.04) predicted the severity of RRBs on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (F=2.334, p=.036). Our study replicates previous findings on the relationship between concurrent motor impairments and RRBs, and provides the first evidence for the association between RRBs and age of attainment of early motor milestones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1168
JournalAutism Research
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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