Toe walking in autism: further observations

J Child Neurol. 2015 Apr;30(5):606-9. doi: 10.1177/0883073814521298. Epub 2014 Feb 21.


Toe walking has been associated with language disorders and autism. To better understand the association between persistent toe walking and sensory and motor variables in children with autism, the degree of toe walking was compared with an estimate of the severity of sensory integration dysfunction symptoms and the presence of residual components of the tonic labyrinthine in supine reflex pattern in 61 children younger than 37 months of age with newly diagnosed autism. There was no association between the presence of toe walking and sensory symptoms (P = .5298) or language age (P = .6142), but there was an association between toe walking and the presence of components of the tonic labyrinthine reflex (P = .04222). These preliminary results support the contribution of subtle motor deficits to the evolution of some behaviors associated with autism.

Keywords: autism; toe walking; tonic labyrinthine reflex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / complications
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders / complications
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Reflex
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Toes
  • Walking*