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IQ discrepancy differentiates levels of fine motor skills and their relationship in children with autism spectrum disorders

Authors Yu TY, Chou W, Chow JC, Lin CH, Tung LC, Chen KL

Received 3 October 2017

Accepted for publication 12 December 2017

Published 20 February 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 597—605


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Tzu-Ying Yu,1 Willy Chou,2,3 Julie Chi Chow,4 Chien-Ho Lin,5 Li-Chen Tung,2,6 Kuan-Lin Chen7,8

1Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, 2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chi-Mei Medical Center, 3Department of Recreation and Health Care Management, Cha Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, 4Department of Pediatrics, 5Department of Psychiatry, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, 6Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Da Chien General Hospital, Miaoli, 7Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 8Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

Purpose: We investigated 1) the impact of differences in intelligence quotient discrepancy (IQD) on motor skills of preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); 2) the relationships between IQD and motor skills in preschool-aged children with ASD.
Methods: A total of 127 ASD preschool-aged children were divided into three groups according to the size of the IQD: IQD within 1 standard deviation (1SD; EVENIQ; n=81), discrepantly higher verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ; n=22; VIQ>performance intelligence quotient [PIQ] above 1SD [≥15 points]), and discrepantly higher PIQ (n=24; PIQ>VIQ above 1SD [≥15 points]). Children’s IQD and motor skills were determined with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence™ – Fourth Edition and the motor subtests of the Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Toddlers (CDIIT), respectively.
Results: One-way analysis of variance revealed significant group differences for the fine motor domain of the CDIIT and the visual–motor coordination subtest (F=3.37–4.38, p<0.05). Children with discrepantly higher PIQ were associated with better fine motor skills than were children with even IQD and those with discrepantly higher VIQ, and vice versa. IQD (PIQ – VIQ) had significant positive correlations with the fine motor domain and fine motor subtests of the CDIIT (r=0.18–0.29, p<0.05).
Conclusion: The IQD can identify different levels of fine motor skills in preschool-aged children with ASD. This study suggests important implications for clinicians, therapists, and researchers: discrepantly higher PIQ could be related to better visual–motor coordination, and discrepantly higher VIQ could be related to poor visual–motor coordination. Furthermore, the results support that when therapists are working with preschool-aged children with ASD who are developing fine motor skills or undertaking fine motor tasks related to visual–motor coordination, they may need to pay attention to the children’s IQD.

Keywords: intelligence discrepancy, autistic disorder, motor development, child

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