Motor signs distinguish children with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome from controls

J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Jul;36(5):613-21. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0109-y.


While many studies of motor control in autism have focused on specific motor signs, there has been a lack of research examining the complete range of subtle neuromotor signs. This study compared performance on a neurologic examination standardized for children (PANESS, Physical and Neurological Exam for Subtle Signs, Denckla [1974 Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 16(6), 729-741]) between a group of 40 boys aged 6-17 with autism and average range IQs and a group of 55 typically developing boys. The Autism group was shown to have significant impairment on several measures of motor control compared to the Control group. Regression analyses revealed that a model including four PANESS variables offered a high level of discrimination in distinguishing boys with high-functioning autism from controls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asperger Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Autistic Disorder / classification
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Physical Examination
  • ROC Curve
  • Reference Values