Fine and Gross Motor Skills Linked to Adaptive and Social Skills in Children with ASD

Many deficits are often present in children with autism, including gross and fine motor skills, social skills, adaptive behavior skills, and daily living skills. A new study, to be published in the November 2013 edition of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, found a positive correlation between fine and gross motor skills and adaptive behavior and socialization skills.


The researchers of the study looked at 233 children ranging from 14 months to 49 months, diagnosed with ASD, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and other developmental delays, measuring their fine and gross motor skills, daily living skills, and adaptive social and communicative skills. The findings show that an increase in fine motor skills led to an increase in the child’s adaptive behavior skills. Fine motor skills are responsible for picking up and grasping objects and adaptive behavior skills include having the ability to take care of one’s self and their social skills. Similarly, the results concluded that an increase in gross motor skills led to an increase of daily living skills. Gross motor skills are movements of the muscles, such as crawling, walking, and running. Finally, if a child had weaker gross motor skills, their adaptive behavior skills struggled as well.


As professionals and parents will agree, there are many interventions out there to increase a child’s fine and gross motor skills, including adaptive physical education and occupational therapy, both of which are available at Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices. With the help from these specialists, our students make great strides in these areas.


According to the study,


“There is more to focus on and new avenues to explore in the realm of discovering how to implement early intervention and rehabilitation for young children with autism, and motor skills need to be a part of the discussion.”[i]


Click here to learn more about the available programs here at Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices.

[i] Adaptive and social skills improve with motor skills in children with autism. 15 Sep 2013. Web. <>