Analysis of gait symmetry during over-ground walking in children with autism spectrum disorder

Jeffrey D. Eggleston, John R. Harry, Robbin A. Hickman, Janet S. Dufek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Gait symmetry is utilized as an indicator of neurologic function. Healthy gait often exhibits minimal asymmetries, while pathological gait exhibits exaggerated asymmetries. The purpose of this study was to examine symmetry of mechanical gait parameters during over-ground walking in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Kinematic and kinetic data were obtained from 10 children (aged 5–12 years) with ASD. The Model Statistic procedure (α = 0.05) was used to compare gait related parameters between limbs. Analysis revealed children with ASD exhibit significant lower extremity joint position and ground reaction force asymmetries throughout the gait cycle. The observed asymmetries were unique for each subject. These data do not support previous research relative to gait symmetry in children with ASD. Many individuals with ASD do not receive physical therapy interventions, however, precision medicine based interventions emphasizing lower extremity asymmetries may improve gait function and improve performance during activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Biomechanics
  • Gait
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Locomotion


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