Motor differences

Autistic people have different motor skills than non-autistic people.
Motor skills are how people control the way their body moves.
Your body moves in big and small ways.
Some big ways are running or swimming.
Some small ways are writing or tying your shoes.
Motor skills are also a part of talking.
Moving your mouth to make sounds is a motor skill.

Not every autistic person has big differences in motor skills.
Many autistic people have small motor differences.
We might not realize we have them!
Motor differences can make someone have messy handwriting.
We might be clumsy.
Sometimes, we walk differently than other people.

Autistic people can have different kinds of motor problems. Some of these problems are:

  • Planning how you are going to move
  • Having trouble starting or stopping when you move
  • Bumping into things, tripping, or dropping things

Here’s an example:

Alexis is autistic. She is sitting on the couch.
She wants to get up and eat cereal.
There are many things that might be hard for her.
First, she has to stand up.
Then, she has to walk to the kitchen.
After that, she has to get the cereal, a bowl, and a spoon.
Then, she has to pour the cereal into the bowl.

Alexis has to think about all the steps before she can do them.
She has trouble remembering what the steps are.
She may not know what order they go in.
She may have a hard time getting up from the couch.
Once she starts moving, she may have a hard time stopping at the kitchen.
She may drop the cereal or the bowl when she tries to get them.

There are lots of people like Alexis.
Maybe you also have trouble with these things.