Quantitative motor phenotyping in nonsyndromic autism and chromatin modifying disorders

  • Awarded: 2022
  • Award Type: Human Cognitive and Behavioral Science Award
  • Award #: 977910

Delayed or impaired motor development can detrimentally affect environmental exploration, social engagement and spatial perception. Motor impairments in ASD have been related to language delays, autism severity and severity of genetic mutation. Thus, identification of motor impairments is crucial to inform developmental monitoring and to serve as an important early treatment target. To date, however, clinical assessments of motor impairments are surprisingly unsophisticated and typically use subjective categorical ratings of motor milestones. There is a need for more quantitative motor measures that can provide objective and granular data on individuals with ASD and a range of behavioral and intellectual functioning.

In the current project, Rujuta Wilson and colleagues aim to assess motor impairments by using quantitative wearable sensor technology to evaluate motor skills in children with nonsyndromic ASD and children with an identified chromatin modifying disorder (CMD), e.g., CHD8, ASXL3, ARID1B and SETD5, from the ages of 12 to 48 months. Children with CMDs present with a range of intellectual and developmental disabilities and motor milestone achievements, allowing for evaluation of different motor and developmental subtypes. The project design accommodates in -person and remote testing, which will greatly increase accessibility and diverse representation in the study population. The evaluation in the home environment will also improve the ability to understand motor development in the natural learning environment

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