What is the aspie gait?

(38 Posts)
HansieMom Tue 19-Jul-11 16:29:10

Can you tell a person has AS just by watching them walk? I ran across the term 'aspie gait', googled it and didn't get an answer. Some mentioned slouching, walking fast, or kids bouncing when they walk and getting teased for it by the time they were teenagers.

OP’s posts: |
Al1son Tue 19-Jul-11 16:33:28

I'm aware of tiptoe walking and holding hands at chest height. Both are a result of sensory seeking I think.

drivemecrazy63 Tue 19-Jul-11 17:27:52

some have more of a gait as you mentioned above than others, hand flapping, tip toe walking , running awkwardly balance often affected co-ordination of simply walking straight often sensory and motor based I think yes, but they have some or all of these to very varying degrees , but because the differences can be so varying and their are other co-ordination problems could be causing it , you cant rely on this trait alone to diagnose they follow the triad of impairments to dx.

ArthurPewty Tue 19-Jul-11 18:02:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gotabookaboutit Tue 19-Jul-11 18:19:48

Mine is flat footed and walks like a pengine - OT said lots of Aspies are - not sure if there is statistical evidance or just anicdotal

dolfrog Tue 19-Jul-11 20:27:29

you could have a look at
Gait function in newly diagnosed children with autism: cerebellar and basal ganglia related motor disorder
Gait function in high-functioning autism and Asperger?s disorder Evidence for basal-ganglia and cerebellar involvement?
Increased Static and Dynamic Postural Control in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (I think Increased should read Decreased when looking at other versions of this paper)

zzzzz Tue 19-Jul-11 20:45:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Al1son Tue 19-Jul-11 21:09:50

I'm so sorry but I've read so much in the last couple of years that I can't remember where I got that from. The comment was about the person getting more proprioceptive feedback from their joints if the held their hands up. There was also something about how people can slap their feet down hard as they walk because they can't judge the position of their joints and therefore can't predict when their feet will hit the floor.

I do recall Tony Attwood mentioning the hand carrying at a conference I attended when he was talking about being able to recognise undiagnosed 'Aspies' on his travels. I wonder if he's written anything on it at any time.

zzzzz Tue 19-Jul-11 22:17:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 19-Jul-11 22:25:49

My 'quirky' DS3 holds his hands up at chest height with 'limp' wrists and also does the jumping up and down whilst flapping when excited. I'm still wondering if I need to do anything about him, but apart from being 'young' for his age yet bright, he's happy at school.

HansieMom Tue 19-Jul-11 22:26:57

I will go to those sites and look now. I'm not sure we are allowed to cut and paste from other sites, but I will! I ran across this:

We walk differently to those with Classic Autism and also to those who aren't autistic - some studies have shown it possible to diagnose Asperger's by Gait Analysis alone. Aspies tend to be more firmly planted through the hips than those with classic autism, with less lower leg movement, but be unique in the way we swing our arms and with upper body posture. Aspies often do not swing their arms while walking, keeping them rigidly by our sides (central nervous system difference), but when we do each arm often swings on a different axis.

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Al1son Wed 20-Jul-11 10:05:52

How interesting. Will have to watch my girls later. DD1 definitely has an odd run but I hadn't noticed that her walking was different. I wonder if I'll see something now.

sphil Wed 20-Jul-11 11:37:56

Ds2 (ASD) has hypermobile joints, so walks with his feet turned out. He doesnt run like other kids but its difficult to say how - probably 'floppier' is the best way to describe it. DS1 (dyspraxic but some AS traits) has a more subtly different gait - he leans forward when he walks and takes quite short steps. When he was little he used to run with his arms windmilling - he stopped this at about 7.

babs2011 Wed 20-Jul-11 11:42:02

Its been an eye opening for me reading all . My son as a lot tiptoe walking , And in my words walks and runs like a toddler and stamps his feet heavy footed ..He's 8 .will have to read more on the net as ive never heard of the term 'aspie gait',
Thankyou for the post .

babs2011 Wed 20-Jul-11 16:13:52

this link may be some interest to you

HansieMom Wed 20-Jul-11 20:24:32

That site was very interesting, Babs2011. It is from 1995 so I'm going to try to find further work from some of the researchers. One person said he can tell from a child's movements at age 1 if they will have autism. Here is an excerpt from the paper:

Dr. Teitelbaum drew attention to the way in which the arms of beginning walkers are held up, gradually lowering as they and their gait mature. The arms of many people with autism are also held up while walking, suggesting motor development which has become arrested at an early stage. It is common to see one arm held significantly higher than the other, further suggesting uneven lateral development, with the sides of the body at different developmental levels.

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HansieMom Wed 20-Jul-11 22:03:53


Dr. Tietlebaum and others authored this. They studied videos of autistic children as babies. There are three stages in walking, they describe them. All the autistic children showed asymetry in their body, there were only 17 autistic children they studied. One child showed a goose step method of walking. He shifted his weight at a later stage than NT kids. They also noted many of the kids had moebius mouths--lower lip level and upper one arched. I learned a lot and think anyone with a child you think is autistic would enjoy reading it too. Often mothers know something is wrong but the doc will fob them off. Here is one passage:

(ii) Delayed development: At the age of 2 or even later, the gait may be more infantile than normal. Thus, one autistic child at the age of 2 exhibited active movement of each thigh only, with the lower leg and foot being carried passively. Also, the foot was planted on the floor as a whole, and there was no release of the hind heel and thus no smooth transfer of weight.

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MissKittyEliza Thu 21-Jul-11 09:33:04

Yes, very obvious gait right fro the getgo for ds (10, ASD, OCD, Tourettes).

He walk with small steps. He kind of leans awkwardly, to one side. His arms a stiff at his side with fists usually clenched with anxiety.

This the kind of thing?

HansieMom Thu 21-Jul-11 14:32:49

Yes, MissKitty, that's the kind of description I'm interested in. Some people describe an AS or ASD gait as odd, awkward or different but don't elaborate. One mother described her daughter's walk as Little Miss Tattletale, as she walked as if she was marching up to the teacher to tattle on someone. She kept her arms at her sides.
Other people say they shuffle and trip a lot. Some lean forward, or look down, or keep head lowered but look up from that position. Some tiptoe. Others bounce or walk fast. One person's dad screamed at him once to "walk normally!"

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drivemecrazy63 Thu 21-Jul-11 14:40:09

ds runs differently he sort of bends forward and trots in a horsey fashion while arms swing like helecopter, and he walks down stairs right foot right foot not left righ left right IYKWIM and does lots of skipping right foot right foot rather than run a lot of the time , he also noticed this ages ago but ignore most of it as used to seeing it twirls his head around while running too in circular motion every now and then.

Miggsie Thu 21-Jul-11 14:45:52

I know a pactitioner who has treated quite a few suspected and already diagnosed ASD children and she says she can spot the signs very early. She often notes her file "FLK" which is her abbreviation for "funny looking kid" in which she can see there is something "not quite right" and she does further investigation before referring them to paedeatricians etc. She says she can now spot from very very young, it's something to do with the way the head is held and then how the hands move (especially if fine motor skills are poor) and then she looks at the movement of the lower body and the way the feet are placed on the ground.

Sometimes it is hypotonia or dyphraxia but often it is AS. She saw my friends AS boy at a distance and she said "look how the head is moving the opposite way from the feet when he runs, he has a physical delay, his head is moving slower than his feet". She says the entire body movement is different, sometime subtle, sometimes really obvious.

drivemecrazy63 Thu 21-Jul-11 14:49:02

yes the head moving slower than the feet thats right

wigglybeezer Thu 21-Jul-11 16:04:09

You have had me staring at DS2 (mild AS), he actually has a reasonably normal gait but does look at the ground in front of him all the time when walking, and breaks into a canter frequently. I wish I had more footage of him walking and running as a toddler as I can't remember what he did. DS1 did the crawling dragging one leg underneath ( which is supposed to be an indicator) and is pigeon toed on one side, holding his arm up on the same side (ala Larry Grayson lol). He is supposed to be NT but I don't think he is 100%! I sometimes wonder if he may have a touch of cerebral palsy (very dodgy birth) but it may just be a dyspraxia/mild ASD thing (not bad enough for an investigation i don't think).

coff33pot Thu 21-Jul-11 18:44:34

Has has me watching my DS with interest too on the way to school! He doesnt move his arms at all they stay at his sides with no swing. His walk is flat footed or whole foot down. Sort of no flex from the waist down I suppose.

MissKittyEliza Thu 21-Jul-11 18:47:41

The practitioner marks her file FLK? Funny Looking Kid? Nice professional confused

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