Motor Coordination and Autism
I recently re-read a post by Musings of an Aspie: Is there a Link Between ASD Motor Skill Deficits and Social Communication Difficulties? which she posted a year ago. She started out intending to look at ASD and dyspraxia – which is a developmental disorder that seems to involve problems with motor coordination… and sensory issues, and executive order functions. In fact, apparently autism and dyspraxia have so much of an overlap that people can be frequently misdiagnosed with one when they really have the other, or they tend to often end up as co-morbid (co-occuring) diagnoses.
Part of the reason this was interesting to me to re-read is because Unstrange Mind mentioned to me that it was possible that my problems with my heat allergy and the difficulties I’ve encountered over the last year and half or so with my thermosensory regulation could be because of dyspraxia (she has both autism and dyspraxia, and that’s one of her dyspraxic symptoms: thermoregulation issues).
But what prompts this post tonight is the fact that when I was talking with my mom about things yesterday (Friday) at dinner, she mentioned that as a child, I had a lot of gross motor coordination problems. That it was more than just my complete inability to catch things thrown at me, to throw things to others, and kick things to others. Apparently I regularly had balance issues, used to trip over nothing, and was regularly clumsy. I hadn’t actually realized that. (Well, I had a bit of an idea about balance issues, but not the rest of it.) It was rather interesting to hear, in fact.
Particularly as back over the last two years when people were discussing what the criteria for ASD in the DSM-5 should be, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) was suggesting that problems with motor coordination skills be included in the ASD diagnostic criteria. (One example they actually used was catching balls, and I went, “Oh, yes, that’s so me.”) (That wasn’t added, but if you’ve read Unstrange Mind’s analysis of the DSM-5 official criteria, you’ll see that a number of the concerns that the ASAN raises in that document were addressed in some fashion or another.)
I’ve never had any real issues with fine motor coordination – no problems with handwriting, and I loved Legos and Tinker Toys. But to learn that I had those issues with gross motor coordination was rather interesting.
Anyway, I just thought I’d write a post on that. (Yes, I know I have lots of other posts, especially regarding communication, due… but this was what occurred to me. Though expect some more communication posts in the next month or so!)
I would welcome your thoughts on this!