Fine Motor Skills Relate to Visual Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder

  •  Yasuko Funabiki    
  •  Tadao Mizutani    
  •  Toshiya Murai    


Memory function is an important determinant of behavioral manifestations and social adaptations in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While a number of studies have examined memory function in people with ASD, whether impaired memory is characteristic of ASD is unclear. This controversy is likely because of the heterogeneity of the ASD population. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between memory function and the severity of various autistic symptoms. Therefore, to assess such relationships, we used the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised and the Multi-dimensional Scale for Pervasive developmental disorder and Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which encompasses symptoms comorbid with ASD, to assess 36 individuals with high-functioning ASD. Participants showed average performance in the memory battery. Interestingly, scores reflecting fine motor skills were significantly associated with visual memory performance. That is, individuals with ASD who exhibit impaired fine motor skills showed poor visual memory. This finding implies that memory variability may be associated with developmental trajectory in people with ASD.

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