Here we describe the performance of children with autism, their siblings, and typically developing children using the Florida Apraxia Battery. Children with autism showed the lowest performance in all sections of the test. They were mostly impaired in pantomime actions execution on imitation and on verbal command, and in imitation of meaningless gestures. Interestingly, a correlation was found between performance in pantomime actions and the severity of social behavior deficits. We conclude that the presence of a rigid internal model prevents the execution of an exact copy of the observed pantomime actions and that the deficit in imitation of meaningless gestures is most likely due to a deficit in the mechanisms responsible for visuomotor transformations.
Failure in Pantomime Action Execution Correlates with the Severity of Social Behavior Deficits in Children with Autism: A Praxis Study / Gizzonio, Valentina; Avanzini, Pietro; Campi, Cristina; Orivoli, Sonia; Piccolo, Benedetta; Cantalupo, Gaetano; Tassinari, Carlo Alberto; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fabbri-Destro, Maddalena. - In: JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS. - ISSN 0162-3257. - 45:10(2015), pp. 3085-3097. [10.1007/s10803-015-2461-2]
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