This study examined the effects of a light fingertip touch on postural control in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing children (TDC). Methods: We recruited 16 children with ASD (age = 11.041. ± 1.275), and 16 TDC (age = 10.966. ± 1.166 years). A force platform measured postural sway in the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions under light fingertip touch (LT) and no touch (NT) conditions, with both eyes open (EO) and both eyes closed (EC). As a summary of the experimental conditions, ML sway was significantly greater in the ASD group than in the TDC group. Also, results showed a significant reduction in postural sway in the ML direction in the LT condition compared with the NT condition. These effects applied to both the EO and EC conditions. Lastly, the reduction in ML sway between the NT and LT conditions was significantly greater in the ASD than the TDC group. Conclusion: The effects of a light fingertip touch on reducing postural sway appear more efficient in children with ASD compared with TDC. These findings suggest that a light fingertip touch may be of clinical and practical importance, and provides a useful means of enhancing postural stability in children with ASD.
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