Brief Report: Postural Balance and Daily Living Skills in Children and Adolescents with Autism

The current study investigated the relation between postural balance and performance of daily living skills (DLS) in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Fifty-two youth with ASD (6–17 years; IQ ≥ 67) completed standardized balance testing and parent-reported DLS measures. Results showed a positive association between balance and DLS that was specific to youth with below-average IQ. While balance challenges were evident across the IQ spectrum, youth with above-average IQ did not exhibit an association between balance and DLS, perhaps suggestive of compensatory strategies implemented to offset balance challenges during daily-living tasks. These results underscore the need to better understand the contributions of motor challenges to DLS in youth with ASD within the context of broader cognitive and environmental factors.
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