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Now, a new study examined whether there was a relationship between the severity of motor skill problems and the degree of deficits in social and communication skills. The study, done at Oregon State University, tested the functional motors skills of 35 children with autism. The researchers, led by Megan McDonald, found that the children who had weaker motor skills also had greater deficits in their social and communication skills.
"So much of the focus on autism has been on developing social skills, and that is very crucial," said MacDonald. "Yet we also know there is a link between motor skills and autism, and how deficits in these physical skills play into this larger picture is not clearly understood." One theory is that children who have poor motor skills avoid sports and other physical activities thereby also missing the social aspects of these activities.