Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Movement analysis in infancy may be useful for early diagnosis of autism

Autistic individuals tend to use different are...
Autistic individuals use different parts of their brain for movement Image via Wikipedia
Very useful article about spotting autism very early in infants and children.  Autistic children showed  movement disturbances that could be detected clearly at the age of 4–6 months, and sometimes ev
en at birth.  Disturbances such as shape of the mouth and in some or all of the milestones of development, including, lying, righting, sitting, crawling, and walking were noted by observers.

Movement disorders in autism are the subject of much controversy.  While most autistic persons are unimpaired with finger dexterity and gross motor skills and have in fact been often been described as particularly dextrous and coordinated,  autistic children between the ages of 3 and 10 walk somewhat like Parkinsonian adults in that they walk more slowly than normal, with shorter steps.

The article linked to below describes and analysis of some of the arrested development in autism.
http://www.pnas.org/content/95/23/13982.full