Different Posture Control an Early Feature of ASD
By Chelsea Toledo, M.A. on November 29, 2018
Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized mainly by differences in communication and social behavior. However, motor delays and differences have also been observed in children with ASD. To date, studying these differences has proven difficult, with requirements for labor-intensive coding subject to human error.
What’s New: A recent study suggests that computer technology could be leveraged to gather more precise measurements of body movements by people with ASD. The researchers measured the degree to which children were able to control their posture, an indicator of neurological and muscular stability.
Focusing on 104 children between the ages of 16 and 31 months, the researchers found:
- The 22 children who were ultimately diagnosed with ASD moved their heads at much higher rates than their typically developing peers when presented with a stimulus, such as a program on a screen.
- These atypical movements appeared to be the result of a lack of muscular control, as opposed to being distracted.
Why it’s important: This article suggests that children with ASD exhibit differences in the control of their posture beginning in very early childhood. Computer technology can provide precise measurements of these patterned differences, providing a possible biomarker for ASD.
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