Effects of Visual Cueing on Two-Legged Hopping Variability in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study

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Background Motor deficits in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are highly prevalent. High variability of motor output is commonly reported in children with ASD. Visual cueing using an exergame may be an effective intervention to reduce motor variability in children with ASD. Aim To examine the effect of visual cueing on two-legged hopping variability in children with ASD. Methods Four children with ASD and six age-matched TD controls performed three 20-s hopping trials with no visual cueing (no cue = NC) and with a 2 Hz visual cue (visual cue = VC). Three-dimensional kinematic data of the sacrum marker and ground reaction force were collected during each hopping trial. Variability was determined using the intra-trial coefficient of variation (CoV) of hopping frequency, hop height, and negative sacral displacement Results A marginally significant interaction between GROUP (ASD/TD) and CUE type (NC/VC) was observed for hopping frequency variability (p = 0.06) indicating greater impairment in the ASD group vs. TD group with visual vs. no-cueing. The main effect of group showed a statistically significant difference in hopping frequency (p = 0.037), hopping frequency variability (p = 0.008), and negative sacrum displacement variability (p = 0.04). Conclusion This pilot study confirmed high motor variability in the amplitude and frequency of repetitive movements in children with ASD. However, visual cueing was ineffective at reducing the variability of motor output in children with autism.


Motor deficits; Autism Spectrum Disorder; ASD; Children; Visual cueing; Motor variability


Kinesiology | Life Sciences | Motor Control



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