Posture and Movement Coordination, Sensorimotor Integration May Affect Motor Skills in Children With Autism

The message

In children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), problems with sensorimotor integration and difficulty in coordinating posture and arm motions may result in impaired motor planning and control. These children also exhibited fewer anticipatory postural adjustments and demonstrated more corrective control during arm movements. Compared with typically developing peers, children with ASD were less likely to use visual cues to plan for motions required to catch an item, such as a ball.

The study

To examine the interplay of sensory cues, postural demands, and arm movement during ball-catching, researchers in Taiwan asked children with and without ASD to catch a ball rolling down a ramp toward them. Of the children, 15 had ASD and 15 were typically developing age- and sex-matched peers.

Full story at APTA

Study: Popular Shoulder Procedure Provides No Relevant Clinical Benefit Over ‘Placebo Surgery’

Researchers in Finland have once again conducted a study that used “placebo surgery” to conclude that another frequently used arthroscopic procedure likely has little to no benefit: this time around, it was subacromial decompression surgery for shoulder impingement that was found to be no better than diagnostic arthroscopy alone. The procedure was also compared with physical therapy alone, but researchers are uncertain about the reliability of the results.

The study, published in BMJ, compared shoulder pain at rest and with arm activity among 122 participants, aged 35 to 65, who presented with shoulder impingement occurring for at least 3 months and unresponsive to “conventional treatment.” Participants agreed to undergo arthroscopic surgery and understood that they may be receiving either simple diagnostic arthroscopy with no other surgical procedure, or arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery (ASD), a procedure that involves smoothing the undersurface of the acromion in hopes of easing the passage of the rotator cuff tendon through the subacromial space. Authors characterize ASD as “one of the most frequently performed orthopaedic procedures in the world.”

Full story at APTA

Autism Rates Show a 30% Rise in 2 Years

In a report that could inform how physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) approach their work with children, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cited a nearly 30% rise in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) rates in the US since 2008. Current CDC estimates raise the prevalence of ASD from 1 in 88 children to 1 in 68 children, with a growing number of children diagnosed with ASD who have average or above-average intellect.

The CDC findings were widely reported in major media outlets including the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press, each highlighting different features of the report, which pointed out variations in prevalence among ethnicities, sex, and geographic location.

Full story of Autism rates rising at APTA