Childrens Podiatry | Autism and the feet
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Autism and the feet

Autism and the feet

It will typically present in early childhood and is generally characterised by difficulty communicating and developing relationships with other people through language and abstract concepts.

It has also been found that children with Autism will have difficulty in performing and developing gross motor skills, coordination and balance. These are all factors, which contribute to ones walking pattern. Such factors as well as appearing clumsy and demonstrating delayed/ atypical motor developments will all contribute to affecting your child’s walking pattern.

From a podiatrist’s perspective the below factors may be observed in children with Autism

  1. Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
    • May vary from a moderate to severe reduction in muscle tone
    • Your child may appear floppy and have a poor physical endurance such a difficulty standing and walking for prolonged periods of time.
  2. Poor balance, coordination, joint proprioception and an awkward walking pattern
  3. Changes to ones gait pattern may include
    • Taking shorter steps while walking
    • Wider base of gait
  4. Toe walking
    • Children who are more prone to walking and standing on their tip toes involuntary
    • Can lead to an imbalance in the leg muscles as well as have a reduction in joint range of motion at the ankle join
  5. Sensory sensitivities
    • Have heightened senses such as sound, touch and taste
    • They may often find that particular surfaces such as grass and sand cause irritation
    • Children may also find that footwear and socks to be intolerable as well

At Children’s Podiatry one of our podiatrists will be able to assess your child’s:

  • Foot posture
  • Joint range of motion and flexibility
  • Foot and leg muscle strength
  • Walking pattern and biomechanical assessment
  • Balance, coordination and pelvic stability
  • Footwear assessment