Motor skills represent a person’s ability to move their body in big ways, such as running, jumping, or throwing a ball, and move their body in small ways such as writing, buttoning, and using a safety pin.
Big body movements are called “gross motor” skills while the smaller movements with the hands are called “fine motor” skills. Both types of movements can be difficult for children with Asperger’s Disorder. Typically Asperger’s Disorder children are slow to develop their motor skills and lag behind their peers.
Typical motor skill problems of Asperger’s Disorder include:
• Poor ball play
• Difficulty imitating body movements
• Weak hand-eye coordination
• Trouble balancing on one leg
While one can certainly get through life without being good at balancing on one leg, physical play is one of the main ways children interact with each other. Those who cannot catch or throw a ball are not selected for ball games. Clumsy children who accidentally knock over game pieces or towers of blocks are a source of irritation to peers.
Classmates are easily upset when the Asperger’s Disorder child drops the ball, strikes out, or misses the hoop. Repeated public failure in physical play contributes to teasing and social rejection.