The association among imitation, social, and motor deficits in individuals with asd


Individuals across the spectrum experience a myriad of challenges that compromise their wellbeing. Challenges include social impairments (e.g., difficulties in peer relationships) and motor impairments (e.g., difficulty with running and writing). In addition to these challenges, they also exhibit an imitation deficit. Imitation plays a role in the development of specific domains (e.g., social and motor ); therefore it may be likely that imitation deficits are associated with social and motor impairments. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine imitation, social and motor impairments among individuals with ASD. It was hypothesized individuals with greater imitation deficits would also have greater social and motor deficits. The imitation, social and motor abilities of 21 children (10 children with ASD and 11 typically developing children ages 7 to 15) were assessed using the Social Reciprocity Scale 2nd Edition, Target Accuracy iPad task, Motor Assessment Battery for Children-2, and the Motor Imitation Task tool. The study revealed a significant relationship in motor functioning and imitation among individuals with ASD; children who exhibited greater motor difficulties also exhibited greater difficulty in imitation. The study provides recommendations for healthcare professionals, educators, and researchers. For example, it is recommended that healthcare professionals assess imitation and motor skills in children suspected to have ASD. It is crucial the relationship between imitation, social and motor functioning continues to be examined so deficits in these domains can be addressed, thus improving the quality of life of individuals across the spectrum.