Balance Performance in Autism: A Brief Overview: A brief overview

John F. Stins*, Claudia Emck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Children with autism not only have limited social and communicative skills but also have motor abnormalities, such as poor timing and coordination of balance. Moreover, impaired gross motor skills hamper participation with peers. Balance control is interesting from a cognitive science perspective, since it involves a complex interplay between information processing, motor planning, and timing and sequencing of muscle movements. In this paper, we discuss the background of motor problems in children with autism, focusing on how posture is informed by sensory information processing. We also discuss the neurobiological basis of balance problems, and how this is related to anxiety
in this group. We then discuss possible avenues for treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms, especially as regards movement-related interventions. Finally, we present a theoretical outlook and discuss whether some of the symptoms in ASD can be understood from an embodied cognition perspective.
Keywords: autism, postural control, anxiety, sensory integration, embodied cognition
Original languageEnglish
Article number901
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberJUNE
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Embodied cognition
  • Postural control
  • Sensory integration


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