What is it about?

Minimal information is known about the three-dimensional (3D) ground reaction forces (GRF) on the gait patterns of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the 3D GRF components differ significantly between children with ASD and those without. The findings suggest that children with ASD experience significant difficulties in supporting their body weight and experience gait instability during the stance phase.

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Why is it important?

Gait is a human style of walking of naturally moving the body forward from one location to another. The most essential force in gait analysis is the GRF, which is the force exerted by the ground on the foot. GRF supports the body against gravity and accelerates the centre of mass of the body during walking. GRF can be measured in 3D space using a force plate which is embedded in the middle of a walkway. Assessment of the 3D GRF provides a detailed interpretation of the weight acceptance and the single-limb-support tasks during the stance phase of walking. Therefore, an investigation of the 3D GRF components is expected to be more effective in identifying specific locomotion characteristics. This study investigates whether the 3D GRF components during walking differ significantly between children with ASD and typically developing (TD) age-matched control groups.

Perspectives

Autism is a developmental disorder which typically presents before three years of age. It is a spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders and is found across all ethnic cultures and economic groups. In recent years, it has become clear that children with ASDs have difficulty with gross motor function and coordination, factors which influence gait. Knowledge of gait abnormalities may be useful for assessment and treatment planning. Gait abnormality can be simply defined as a deviation from a normal walking pattern. The findings of this research are useful to both clinicians and parents who wish to provide these children with appropriate treatments and rehabilitation programs.

NOORITAWATI MD TAHIR
Universiti Teknologi MARA

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This page is a summary of: The analysis of three-dimensional ground reaction forces during gait in children with autism spectrum disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities, July 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.02.015.
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