Toe Walking and Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder

Toe Walking and Severe Autism Spectrum DisorderToe Walking and Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Research published research evaluating toe walking and severe Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Two studies were carried out.  In study number one, 69 individuals with ASD and intellectual disability (average age 14 years old) were observed in the clinic and interviews took place with the main caregivers.

The results indicated the following for toe walking and severe Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  • toe walking was present in 32% of the subjects.
  • toe walking occurred when standing, walking and running (45.5%), when walking and running (18.4%), or only when running (36.4%).
  • toe walking subjects were more frequently nonverbal
  • there was no significant difference in ASD severity between toe walking and non-toe walking subjects.

The second study was to determine if the floor surface had an effect on toe walking.  For this study, 14 individuals with ASD participated (7 toe walkers and 7 non-toe walkers).  The results indicated that a soft floor surface (foam mats) made a substantial difference in reducing the toe walking during static and/or dynamic tasks.

The researchers concluded that further evaluation is needed to clarify the potential pathophysiological implications of this toe walking.

Reference:  Valagussa, G., Trentin, L., Balatti, V., & Grossi, E. (2017). Assessment of presentation patterns, clinical severity, and sensorial mechanism of tip‐toe behavior in severe ASD subjects with intellectual disability: A cohort observational study. Autism Research.

Read more about toe walking:

  1.  Motor Skills, Sensory Processing, and Toe Walking
  2.  Prevalence of Toe Walking
  3.  Idiopathic Toe Walking and Left Handedness
  4.  Toe Walking and Autism
  5.  Idiopathic Toe Walking and Botox

Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking: A Treatment Guide for Parents and Therapists is a great electronic or print book that provides a non-invasive, efficient and effective sensory treatment strategy for children and adolescents that display atypical toe walking.

Written by renowned Occupational Therapist, Ileana S. McCaigue, OTR/L, ‘Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking: A Treatment Guide for Parents and Therapists’ serves as a definitive manual for children and adolescents that display atypical toe walking behaviors. Inspired by the overcoming of toe walking by numerous children during her years of practice,  McCaigue’s professional expertise and personal experiences are fused into a powerful resource.  FIND OUT MORE.

Toe Walking and Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder