Investigation of Hand Function Among Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Upper Extremity Trauma History
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BACKGROUND: The present study was designed to compare hand function in autistic children with history of upper extremity trauma with that of autistic children those who do not have history of trauma. METHODS: The study group included total of 65 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and was divided into 2 groups: children with trauma history (Group I) and control group (Group II) (Group I: n=28; Group II: n=37). Hand function was evaluated with 9-Hole Peg Test and Jebsen Hand Function Test. Somatosensory function was evaluated using somatosensory subtests of Sensory Integration and Praxis Test. Results were analyzed with Student's t-test and Mann-Whitney U test using SPSS version 20 software. RESULTS: Hand function and somatosensory perception test scores were statistically significantly better in children without upper extremity trauma history (p<0.05). When association between hand function tests and upper extremity somatosensory perception tests was taken into account, statistically significant correlations were found between all parameters of hand function tests and Manual Form Perception and Localization of Tactile Stimuli Test results (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Autistic children with upper extremity trauma history had poor somatosensory perception and hand function. It is important to raise awareness among emergency service staff and inform them about strong relationship between somatosensory perception, hand function, and upper extremity trauma in children with ASD in order to develop appropriate rehabilitation process and prevent further trauma.