It’s common for autistic people to have problems with motor skills, and I’m one of them. With research and practice, I’m getting better in this area.
We use motor skills in everyday tasks and sports, and it’s part of non-verbal communication.
Since we communicate through body language, it affects first impressions like perceived confidence, which potential employers use in hiring decisions.
One issue I have is posture. For example, I often needed reminders to correct my slouching, even though it was quite obvious. I even experimented with a back brace, to keep my back straight, with little, if any, relief.
Another issue I have is the lack of muscle coordination as I tend not to use the right muscle groups when I needed to. For example, I might rotate my shoulders or wrists instead of using my chest and shoulder muscles. When doing labour work, we should use our larger muscle groups to increase endurance and strength.
Here are five ways I overcame it:
Wearing proper footwear
Proper walking is easier if our brain is getting the right feedback, so we should make sure they’re comfortable and in good condition.
I wear Lems dress shoes and I’m happy with them because they’re easy to walk in.
Wearing a pair of sunglasses and a hat
I have a tendency to look down to avoid the sun. In the past, I often hunched my back and I think this method of glare avoidance contributed to the habit. Preventing this kind of reflex encourages and maintains good posture, making it become more natural.
Correcting vision problems
If you treat visual problems, it’s easier to maintain good posture because you won’t have to sacrifice it to see clearly. If you’re nearsighted, you’ll have to move your head closer to the screen to see it. This is almost like text neck.
Another option is to increase the font size, use the magnifier features on your computer, or use a bigger screen.
Getting your bike properly adjusted
Since walking and cycling are similar activities for our legs and hips, we should make sure we adjust our bike properly and have the right components.
Having it properly fitted encourages proper form, which helps maintain the good habits that you’ve developed and muscle balance. You should find that your back, neck, and shoulders are more comfortable afterwards. This is especially important for those who cycle regularly.
I got mine fitted at MEC and manually find tuned it after. My pedalling style was slightly different on the road than while getting it fitted.
To do our best in sports, we need to have good muscle coordination, which is transferable. Proper form also keeps our joints healthy, which is good for our posture and gait.
I’ve been studying running and cycling forms and applied it to my workouts. For example, when I’m running, I try to work my entire leg. With videos, you can see individual frames, so it’s easier to copy what the athlete’s doing.
I’m still actively correcting and maintaining my motor skills.
I hope there will be more research in this area for those on the spectrum. Maybe motor skills can help us succeed!
Do you have any tips for improving motor skills for autistic people? If so, please share by commenting below!