Kinematic Gait Changes Following Serial Casting and Bracing to Treat Toe Walking in a Child With Autism

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of serial casting in a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibiting a toe-walking gait pattern with equinus contractures.

Summary of Key Points:

Although many children with ASD toe walk, little research on physical therapy interventions exists for this population. Serial casting has been validated for use in idiopathic toe walking to increase passive dorsiflexion and improve gait, but not for toe walking in children with ASD. Serial casting followed by ankle-foot orthosis use was implemented to treat a child with ASD who had an obligatory equinus gait pattern. Gait analysis supported improvements in kinematic, spatial, and temporal parameters of gait, and the child maintained a consistent heel-toe gait at 2-year follow-up.

Statement of Conclusion and Recommendations for Clinical Practice:

Serial casting followed by ankle-foot orthosis use is a viable treatment option for toe walking in children with ASD.

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