Investigation of the Association Between Motor Stereotypy Behavior With Fundamental Movement Skills, Adaptive Functioning, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Symptomology in Children With Intellectual Disabilities

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Motor stereotypy behaviors are patterned, coordinated, repetitive behaviors that are particularly evident in those with an autistic spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. The extent to which motor stereotypy behavior severity is associated with motor skills and maladaptive behavior, measures of adaptive functioning, along with fundamental movement skills and degree of autistic spectrum disorder symptomology is assessed in this preliminary report. Twelve participants, aged 7 to 16 years, with a reported motor stereotypy behavior and either mild or severe intellectual disability comprising developmental or global delay took part in the study. Spearman rho correlational analysis showed that severity of motor stereotypy behavior was significantly positively correlated with autistic spectrum disorder symptomology (P = .008) and maladaptive behavior (P = .008) but not fundamental movement skills (P > .05). An increase in fundamental movement skills score was associated with a decrease in autistic spectrum disorder symptomology (P = .01) and an increase in motor skills (P = .002). This study provides evidence showing a significant relationship between motor stereotypy behavior severity with degree of autistic spectrum disorder symptomology and maladaptive behavior.

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