Did you know that Autism can cause extreme tiredness – especially in the legs?
Neither did I
Over the past year or so, I found that Grace was getting super tired after a short time of walking while out – which made it really hard to give up buggy life! After looking into it, I found that children with Autism can also have issues with leg tiredness. This can be for a number of reasons, due to the fact that they tend to tip toe, which over time can cause a strain on flexing their feet and ankles and irregular muscle development in their calves.
Another reason I found, is that when out and about, many children can feel a sense of sensory overload, which over a short period of time can make them very tired or in need of somewhere safe such as a buggy to regulate.
I think information like this can be super beneficial to some parents, as it can be confusing as to why their child will not walk for periods expected for them for their age.
According to profectum.org, Studies have shown autistic children can have varying degrees of difficulty with fine and gross motor skills. Another study suggests autistic children could be six months behind in gross motor skills compared to their peers, and a year behind in fine motor skills.
Over time, I have also noticed that Grace (nearly 4) still walks and runs like a 2 year old. I’m aware she has a significant Global Delay, however, I am still keeping tabs on this, as it hasn’t improved over time, which I would have expected. She is also super clumsy and can sometimes struggle with balance and is also quite dribbly at times – all of which is related to Autism and Gross Motor Skills.
After looking around a number of websites and forums, I have found that Autism has been noticed as affecting the part of the brain that contracts and releases some muscles in the body – which can also result in issues with walking, running etc – Gross Motor Skills.
After learning all of this, I have decided to speak with Grace’s Occupational Therapist, as well as doing small but frequent sessions of massage etc. at home to see if this will help with walking and running in future. I also know that come September, she will be in her new school where they offer Trampoline Therapy and Swimming – so fingers crossed that helps too!
If you are worried about your child’s Physical Development, speak to your GP, Paediatrician or Occupational Therapist.