Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a less definitive hand preference for certain actions as opposed to neurotypical children. Moreover, left-handedness in children with ASD has been associated with more echolalia. The objective was to conduct a screening of potential risk and associated features for autism spectrum disorders, among which the hand preference of the child. The current aim is to compare the perceived handedness of children with autism spectrum disorders with that of children with other psychiatric pathologies.
Eight hundred and forty-two parents completed our risk and associated features screening questionnaire. Out of these, 494 answered the question regarding handedness (209 had children diagnosed with ASD). This asked the parents to state how they perceived their child's handedness. An ADOS assessment has been conducted for 170 of the children whose parents were included in the study, based on clinical relevance for the case. The data were analysed using Excel and SPSS 22.0. For the comparisons, Chi2 and the Kruskal–Wallis test were used.
Children with ASD had more left-handedness (χ2(2) = 12.54, P = 0.002). There were no differences between boys and girls in terms of perceived handedness in any of the groups. There were no differences in the ADOS scores according to the perceived hand laterality (χ2(2) = 0.58, P = 0.74).
Rightward-asymmetry in regions of corpus callosum has been reported to correlate with symptoms severity in ASD. The finding of different perceived handedness in children with ASD versus children with other psychiatric pathologies is useful for designing appropriate, individualized training programs for motor therapy.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.