Postural Control and Repetitive Behaviors in Children with Autism

Recent research was published on postural control and repetitive behaviors in children with autism.    The participants including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing controls ages 3-16. The center of pressure sway area during quiet, comfortable stance were compared to scores on the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised. The results indicated the following: 

  • increased postural sway in children with ASD 
  • greater frequency and intensity of restricted, repetitive behaviors were present in the children with ASD 
  • a positive correlation between postural sway area and presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors 
  • postural sway area for about half of the ASD subjects scored comparable to TD controls, but the other half scored > 2 SD worse 
  • motor impaired children were younger and had more repetitive behaviors 

The researchers speculate that motor control impairments may characterize a subset of individuals with ASD and that further research is needed. 

Reference: Radonovich KJ, et al. Relationship between postural control and restricted, repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders. Front Integr Neurosci. 2013 May 7;7:28. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2013.00028. Print 2013.