Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder have a unique motor profile, characterized by, for example, unusual posture or compulsive use of the body. However, not much is known about specific characteristics of their physical language, such as their movement direction, their self-touch pattern, etc., and even less is known about these characteristics with regard to their typically developing siblings. In this first of its kind study, we attempted to map the physical language of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and to compare it to their typically developing siblings. To this end, we recruited 12 pairs of siblings, comprising one sibling with a diagnosis of autism and one sibling who is typically developing. The siblings were asked to play for 10 min and were videotaped throughout the interaction. We evaluated the siblings’ physical language using Laban’s movement analysis. We found significant and substantial differences between the physical language of the children diagnosed with autism and their typically developing siblings. The results are discussed in terms of the implications of the differences in physical language between the two populations and how movement analysis could be important for interventions in order to improve the communication and social abilities of ASD children.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.
- autism spectrum disorder
- physical language
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health