Autistic Children Use Less Efficient Goal-Directed Whole Body Movements Compared to Neurotypical Development

Nicholas E. Fears, Tylan N. Templin, Gabriela M. Sherrod, Nicoleta Bugnariu, Rita M. Patterson, Haylie Lauren Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Autistic children have differences in their movements which impact their functional performance. Virtual-reality enables researchers to study movement in safe, engaging environments. We used motion-capture to measure how 7–13-year-old autistic and neurotypical children make whole-body movements in a virtual-reality task. Although children in both groups were successful, we observed differences in their movements. Autistic children were less efficient moving to the target. Autistic children did not appear to use a movement strategy. While neurotypical children were more likely to overshoot near targets and undershoot far targets, autistic children did not modulate their strategy. Using kinematic data from tasks in virtual-reality, we can begin to understand the pattern of movement challenges experienced by autistic children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Balance
  • Kinematics
  • Motor skills
  • Movement
  • Postural control
  • Virtual reality

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