Executive Function and Motor Competence in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Significance: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) of all ages have been shown to display considerable motor deficits in both fine and gross motor competence (Liu, 2013; Liu & Breslin, 2013; Provost, Heimeri, & Lopez, 2007; Schurink et al., 2012; Whyatt & Craig, 2012). Researchers also suggest that children with ASD's motor skill deficits may impact their cognitive and executive function skills such as planning ability and problem solving (Schurink et al., 2012). Poor motor function can potentially result in children with ASD spending school learning time focusing on small tasks such as holding a pencil versus listening to the teacher and in turn, affecting their executive and cognitive skills. Understanding the relationship between motor competence and executive function in children with ASD is important in order to find effective ways to improve their skills and school performance.
Research Goals: Investigate the relationship between executive function and motor competence of children with ASD to design interventions to help improve executive function would in turn have positive effects on socialization and physical activity.