Michele L. Alaniz, Eleanor Galit, Corina Isabel Necesito, Emily R. Rosario; Hand Strength, Handwriting, and Functional Skills in Children With Autism. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(4):6904220030. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.016022
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OBJECTIVE. To establish hand strength development trends in children with autism and to investigate correlations between grip and pinch strength, components of handwriting, and functional activities in children with and without autism.
METHOD. Fifty-one children were divided into two groups: typically developing children and children on the autism spectrum. Each child completed testing for pinch and grip strength, handwriting legibility, pencil control, and independence in functional activities.
RESULTS. The children with autism followed the same strength development trends as the typically developing children. Grip strength correlated with pencil control in both groups and with handwriting legibility in the typically developing children but not in the children with autism. Grip and pinch strength correlated with independence with functional activities in both groups.
CONCLUSION. This study provides evidence that grip and pinch strength are important components in developing pencil control, handwriting legibility, and independence with functional fine motor tasks.
Does grip and pinch strength development in children with autism follow the same trends as in typically developing children?
Does grip and pinch strength correlate with handwriting legibility in typically developing children and children with autism?
Does grip and pinch strength correlate with pencil control in typically developing children and children with autism?
Does grip and pinch strength correlate with independence with functional activities in typically developing children and children with autism?
The amount of effort put forth during testing has a minor influence on pinch and grip strength measurements in typically developing children and children with autism.
Whether children understand the directions is important when taking grip and pinch strength measurements, particularly with children who have autism. Researchers should consider calculating the CV and either dropping outlier scores or adding trials to get closer to a true score.
Grip strength correlates with pencil control.
Grip strength does not correlate with handwriting legibility in children with autism.
Grip strength correlates with handwriting legibility in typically developing children.
Grip and pinch strength correlate with functional abilities.
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