Brief Report: Visuo-spatial Guidance of Movement during Gesture Imitation and Mirror Drawing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Format of Original
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Original Item ID
Thirteen autistic and 14 typically developing children (controls) imitated hand/arm gestures and performed mirror drawing; both tasks assessed ability to reorganize the relationship between spatial goals and the motor commands needed to acquire them. During imitation, children with autism were less accurate than controls in replicating hand shape, hand orientation, and number of constituent limb movements. During shape tracing, children with autism performed accurately with direct visual feedback, but when viewing their hand in a mirror, some children with autism generated fewer errors than controls whereas others performed much worse. Large mirror drawing errors correlated with hand orientation and hand shape errors in imitation, suggesting that visuospatial information processing deficits may contribute importantly to functional motor coordination deficits in autism.