Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 1419–1427 | Cite as

The Influence of Task Difficulty and Participant Age on Balance Control in ASD

  • Sarah A. Graham
  • Angela E. Abbott
  • Aarti Nair
  • Alan J. Lincoln
  • Ralph-Axel Müller
  • Daniel J. GobleEmail author
Original Paper


Impairments in sensorimotor integration are reported in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Poor control of balance in challenging balance tasks is one suggested manifestation of these impairments, and is potentially related to ASD symptom severity. Reported balance and symptom severity relationships disregard age as a potential covariate, however, despite its involvement in balance development. We tested balance control during increasingly difficult balance conditions in children with ASD and typically developing peers, and investigated relationships between balance control and diagnostic/symptom severity metrics for participants with ASD, including age as a covariate. Balance deficits in ASD were exacerbated by stance alterations, but were not related to symptom severity when age was considered. These findings support impaired balance in ASD, especially in challenging conditions, but question a link between balance and symptom severity.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Balance control Sensorimotor integration Postural control Center of pressure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah A. Graham
    • 1
    • 4
  • Angela E. Abbott
    • 2
  • Aarti Nair
    • 2
  • Alan J. Lincoln
    • 3
  • Ralph-Axel Müller
    • 2
  • Daniel J. Goble
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, College of Health and Human ServicesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, College of SciencesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant International UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health ProfessionsThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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