If you’re looking for ways to stop toe walking in autism, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the best strategies for getting your child to stop toe walking. By following these tips, you can help your child develop better balance and coordination, and improve their overall health and well-being.
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It is not uncommon for children with autism to walk on their toes. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as sensory processing issues, tightness in the muscles of the legs, or proprioceptive issues. While toe walking does not typically cause any pain or health problems, it can be a source of frustration for parents who are concerned about their child’s development.
There are a number of treatment options available for children who toe walk, and many of them are effective in helping the child to learn to walk normally. With perseverance and guidance from a therapist or other professional, most children with autism can learn to stop toe walking and develop proper gait patterns.
What is toe walking?
Toe walking is a common symptom in autism. It’s when a person walks on their toes instead of their heel-to-toe. It can happen all the time or just some of the time. Some People With Autism also flap their hands or stim (self-stimulatory behavior).
Causes of toe walking
Toe walking is a common symptom of autism. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including sensory problems, motor problems, and emotional issues.
Sensory problems are often the root cause of toe walking in autism. Many children with autism are hypersensitive to touch and sound, and they may find it uncomfortable to walk on their heels. This can lead to toe walking as a way to avoid contact with the ground.
Motor problems can also cause toe walking. Some children with autism have trouble coordinating their muscles, which can make it difficult to walk heel-to-toe. Emotional issues may also play a role in toe walking. Some children with autism use toe walking as a way to avoid social situations or as a form of self-stimulation.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for toe walking in autism, but there are several treatment options that can help reduce or eliminate the symptom. Occupational therapy and physical therapy are often used to help improve muscle coordination and sensory processing. Behavioral therapies can also be helpful in addressing the emotional roots of toe walking.
Signs and symptoms of toe walking
Most children who walk on their toes do so without any underlying medical condition. This is typically referred to as idiopathic toe walking, and it’s seen more frequently in boys than girls. Children who toe walk usually outgrow the habit by age 3.
There are several conditions, however, that can cause toe walking. The most common is Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Other conditions that may lead to toe walking include:
How to stop toe walking
Toe walking is a condition where a person walks on their toes instead of their heels. It’s common in kids with autism, and can persist into adulthood.
There are a few reasons why toe walking might happen:
-It could be genetic. If toe walking runs in your family, you’re more likely to do it yourself.
-It could be due to low muscle tone. This means the muscles in your legs are weaker than usual, so it’s harder to walk heel-to-toe.
-It could be because of sensory processing issues. This means the proprioceptive and vestibular systems — which help you sense where your body is in space — aren’t working correctly. This can make it hard to walk heel-to-toe.
If you have low muscle tone, there are exercises you can do to strengthening the muscles in your legs. This can help reduce toe walking. If you have sensory processing issues, occupational therapy can help train your body to better process information from your proprioceptive and vestibular systems.
When to seek medical help
Toe walking in autism can be a normal part of the condition. However, if your child is persistently toe walking, it’s important to seeking medical help.
Toe walking can become a problem if it’s accompanied by:
-tightness in the Achilles tendon
-tripping or falling more often
– difficulty wearing shoes
If your child has any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor or a pediatric orthopedic specialist.
Prevention of toe walking
Prevention of toe walking is best achieved through regular stretching of the Achilles tendon. This can be done by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and using a towel to pull your toes back towards your shin. Other exercises that may help to prevent toe walking include calf raises and toe raises.( )
If you are unable to stretch your Achilles tendon effectively, then you may need to wear a splint or cast for a period of time. This will help to stretch the tendon and encourage proper heel-toe walking.
Complications of toe walking
Most children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) engage in at least some repetitive behaviors, such as toe walking. Although these behaviors are developmentally appropriate in young infants, they can become problematic when they persist beyond early childhood.
Toe walking can lead to physical complications, such as difficulty balancing and an increased risk of falls. It can also cause joint pain and muscle stiffness. In some cases, toe walking can interfere with a child’s ability to wear shoes or participate in activities that involve walking, such as sports.
There is no known cure for ASD, but there are treatments that can help reduce the severity of symptoms and improve functioning. Toe walking is often treated with behavioral therapies, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA therapy focuses on reducing problematic behaviors and teaching new skills. It has been found to be effective in treating toe walking and other repetitive behaviors associated with ASD.
If you’re concerned about your child’s toe walking, talk to your pediatrician or a developmental specialist. They can help you determine whether the behavior is cause for concern and recommend treatment options.
Prognosis of toe walking
Most children who toe walk do not have a serious problem and usually outgrow the habit by the time they reach school age. However, if toe walking persists beyond age 3, it may be a sign of a more serious condition such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. Treatment for persistent toe walking is often necessary to prevent further joint damage and deformity. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the problem.
Treatment of toe walking
Children with autism who toe walk can be treated in a number of ways. Different approaches work for different children, and what works for one child may not work for another. Sometimes, a combination of treatments is necessary. The most important thing is to find what works best for your child.
Some common treatments for toe walking in autism include:
–Behavioral Therapy This type of therapy can help your child learn new skills and reduce toe walking behavior.
-Adaptive devices: These devices can help your child stay upright and improve balance. Common adaptive devices used to treat toe walking in autism include braces, splints, and shoes with raised heels.
-Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. Surgery is typically only recommended when other treatments have failed and toe walking is causing pain or problems with mobility.
Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.