Persistent toe walking in autism

J Child Neurol. 2011 May;26(5):619-21. doi: 10.1177/0883073810385344. Epub 2011 Jan 31.


The records of 954 ambulatory children presenting for initial evaluation to a university developmental pediatrician were reviewed for the prevalence of persistent toe walking and associated tight heel cords. The incidence of persistent toe walking (20.1%) and tight heel cords (12.0%) were found to be higher in 324 children with an autistic spectrum disorder but lower (10.0%/3.0%) in 30 children with Asperger syndrome. These results confirm the previously reported high incidence of toe walking in children with autism and with language disorders and also raise the possibility of a secondary orthopedic deformity that can complicate long-term management of these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders / etiology*
  • Toes*
  • Walking / physiology*