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New study highlights importance of building motor skills in kids with autism

December 11, 2018

Children with autism tend to show poor social skills in varying degrees. This is also true for motor skills. Activities like running, throwing a ball or even learning how to write can be affected in numerous ways. But this often goes unnoticed by parents and teachers.

Brianne Redquest is a student of kinesiology, a study that focuses on study of human or non-human body movements. Redquest points out that child with autism needs therapies for developing motor skills as much as it is needed for improving their social skills.

So there are two different kind of motor skills- Fine and Gross. Fine motor skills include minor movements like drawing or writing. Gross skills include a little more difficult ones like walking or throwing a ball. Over the years, experts have pointed out how motor skills are inevitable in the development for a child with autism.

There is a reason to why most parents focus on social skills over motor skills. Most of them are worried about how their child is going to handle things when they grow older. Undoubtedly, that is room for worrying. But that does not mean that parents must ignore a child's overall development. Redquest's conclusion is based on studying many children with and without autism.

Smrithi Rajesh is the mother of a child with autism. She underwent training as special educator after her son was diagnosed with autism.

Most of the special educators and therapists in India focus on motor skills because that is very important to make sure that the child lives independently later on in life. So after diagnosis and during early intervention, experts suggest focusing on motor skills at the earliest. For a child with autism, special education and occupational therapies are important. Motor skills come under occupational therapy.- Smrithi Rajesh, Autism parent

In fact, Redquest's study points out that child with autism can do well when there is a repetition of physical activity. But the parent needs to reach out to trained and skilled doctors and experts who can guide them on how to go about doing this.

"At our institute, we make sure that the child develops their personal skills, including social and motor. Without providing a child with right motor skills, the child cannot develop well. For instance, when you ask a child to hold a pen or open a door, their social and motor skills have equal importance", says Ruby Singh, Founder, Assisted Living for Autistic Adults (ALFAA).

Redquest's study is definitely going to help millions of children who are diagnosed with autism across the world. The message must reach far and wide, not just to parents, but also to special educators, therapists and teachers.

ALSO READ: What causes autism? Some information



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