Motor performance and sensory processing behaviors among children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders compared to children with developmental coordination disorders

Liat Hen-Herbst, TracyJirikowic, Lin-YaHsu, Sarah WestcottMcCoy


More children with DCD than FASD had more severe motor delays in motor performance.
Atypical sensory symptoms were prevalent in both DCD and FASD groups.
Children with FASD had more sensory processing difficulties (SPM scales).



Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and developmental coordination disorders (DCD) may show similar clinical sensory-motor symptoms.


This study aimed to compare motor skills and sensory processing behaviors between these two groups. Methods and Procedures. In this retrospective analysis, we examined secondary data and used multivariate analysis of variance to compare the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) and Sensory Processing Measure (SPM)-Home for 21 children with FASD and 21 with DCD without prenatal alcohol exposure, ages 5–13 years.

Outcomes and results

No significant group differences in mean total motor or subtest scores on the MABC-2 were detected, but a higher proportion of children with DCD had more severe motor delays. Both groups had sensory processing difficulties, but the children with FASD had significantly more sensory processing difficulties on the SPM total score and visual, touch, body awareness, and planning subscales.

Conclusions and implications

The sensory processing symptoms in children with FASD distinguished the two groups. These group differences between children with FASD and DCD need corroboration in larger samples but have implications for differential diagnosis, clinical assessment, and targeted intervention.

Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.