Motor difficulties in autism spectrum disorder: linking symptom severity and postural stability

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Jul;43(7):1568-83. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1702-x.


Postural stability is a fundamental aspect of motor ability that allows individuals to sustain and maintain the desired physical position of one's body. The present study examined postural stability in average-IQ adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Twenty-six individuals with ASD and 26 age-and-IQ-matched individuals with typical development stood on one leg or two legs with eyes opened or closed on a Wii balance board. Results indicated significant group differences in postural stability during one-legged standing, but there were no significant group differences during two-legged standing. This suggests that static balance during more complex standing postures is impaired in average-IQ individuals with ASD. Further, current ASD symptoms were related to postural stability during two-legged standing in individuals with ASD. Future directions and clinical implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / psychology*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Reference Values
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Weight-Bearing
  • Young Adult