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Carmen, S. Baker, Pamela, J. Bryden, Michael, E. Cinelli; Can an iPad task determine visuomotor deficits in children with ASD?. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):487. doi: 10.1167/13.9.487.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are clinically defined through subjective measures. However, there is conclusive evidence of quantifiable motor deficits characterized in ASD. The objective of this study was to determine if a visuomotor memory task could be used to quantify differences between typically developing children and those with ASD. Children clinically diagnosed with ASD and no other comorbid intellectual disabilities (N=9) between the ages of 6 and 13 and typically developing children (N=17) between the ages of 5 and 8 participated in this study. All children performed a visuomotor memory task that was administered through a custom-made iPad application. The task began when the participants placed their index finger on the "home" position at the bottom of the screen. Following a random fore period, a single target appeared at a random location on the black screen. The participants were asked to tap the target (a 1cm diameter yellow dot) as quickly and accurately as possible, however the target would disappear as soon as the participant lifted his or her finger off the "home" position. An independent samples t-test was conducted to compare tapping accuracy in both populations as measured by distance (in pixels) from the center of the target. Although not significant, children with ASD were less accurate (M=160.55, SD=168.17) than typically developing children (M=39.27, SD=18.27); t(11.4)=-2.03, p0.081. A Pearson correlation revealed that there was a negative correlation between the attention to detail component of the Autism Quotient questionnaire (AQ) and accuracy score in children with ASD (r= -0.7, n=8, p=0.026). These findings provide encouragement that a visuomotor memory task on an iPad can be used to detect motor planning deficits in children with ASD as well as provide an objective measure of severity within one component of the AQ.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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