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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Daniel J. Goble.

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Graham, S.A., Abbott, A.E., Nair, A. et al. The Influence of Task Difficulty and Participant Age on Balance Control in ASD. J Autism Dev Disord 45, 1419–1427 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2303-7

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Keywords

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