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Purpose: This pilot study compared temporal coordination during a precision grip task between 13 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who were high functioning and 13 peers with typical development.

Methods: Temporal coordination between grip and load forces was measured using latency between onset of grip and load forces, grip force at onset of load force, peak grip force (PGF), and time to PGF.

Results: Compared with peers with typical development, participants with ASD demonstrated prolonged latency between grip and load forces, elevated grip force at onset of load force, and increased movement variability. PGF and time to PGF were not significantly different between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: These findings indicate temporal dyscoordination in participants with ASD. The findings also enhance our understanding of motor coordination deficits in persons with ASD and have theoretical as well as clinical implications.

(C) 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.