Fournier K.A.,University of Texas–Pan American |
Kimberg C.I.,University of Florida |
Radonovich K.J.,University of Florida |
Tillman M.D.,University of Florida |
And 4 more authors.
Gait and Posture | Year: 2010
The purpose of this study was to investigate postural control in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) during static and dynamic postural challenges. We evaluated postural sway during quiet stance and the center of pressure (COP) shift mechanism during gait initiation for 13 children with ASD and 12 age-matched typically developing (TD) children. Children with ASD produced 438% greater normalized mediolateral sway (p<0.05) and 104% greater normalized anteroposterior sway (p<0.05) than TD children. Consequently, normalized sway area was also significantly greater (p<0.05) in the group with ASD. Similarly, the maximum separation between the COP and center of mass (COM) during quiet stance was 100% greater in the anteroposterior direction (p<0.05) and 146% greater in the resultant direction (p<0.05) for children with ASD. No significant difference was observed in the mediolateral direction, in spite of the 123% greater separation detected in children with ASD. During gait initiation, no group differences were detected in the posterior COP shift mechanism, suggesting the mechanism for generating forward momentum is intact. However, significantly smaller lateral COP shifts (p<0.05) were observed in children with ASD, suggesting instability or an alternative strategy for generating momentum in the mediolateral direction. These results help to clarify some discrepancies in the literature, suggesting an impaired or immature control of posture, even under the most basic conditions when no afferent or sensory information have been removed or modified. Additionally, these findings provide new insight into dynamic balance in children with ASD. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.