Monday, November 27, 2017

Gross Motor Skills, Postural Stability, and Autism

Gross Motor Skills, Postural Stability, and AutismGross Motor Skills, Postural Stability, and Autism

Research indicates that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently exhibit deficits in gross motor skills and postural stability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders published research examining the relationship between gross motor skills, postural stability, and autism.

The participants included 11 children with ASD and 11 children without ASD ages 5-12 years old.  Each child was evaluated with the Test of Gross Motor Development-3 (TGMD-3) and postural sway measurements on a force plate during quiet standing on a solid and compliant surface.

The results indicated the following:

  • sway area on a solid surface, age, and diagnosis were significant predictors of motor skill performance.
  • the severity of ASD, as assessed by the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R), was not predictive of motor skills.
  • children with ASD exhibited deficits in postural stability compared to children without ASD.

The researchers concluded that postural stability appears to influence the ability of children to perform gross motor skills.

Reference:  Mache, M. A., & Todd, T. A. (2016). Gross motor skills are related to postural stability and age in children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders23, 179-187.

Read more on postural stability and children with autism here.

Need activity ideas to encourage postural stability for children with autism?  Check out Classroom Activity Posters.  This digital download is a collection of 16 exercise activities, 4 large posters and a brief, simple video demonstration of each exercise.The posters are divided into four groups: posture, alerting, ready to work and focus/balance.  All of the exercises are performed in standing.  Try these activities prior to starting fine motor activities, for posture breaks, to refocus students attention and for vestibular/ proprioceptive input in the classroom.

Gross Motor Skills, Postural Stability, and Autism



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