Behavioral Assessment of Cerebellar Function in Preschool Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder


A large body of literature, including preclinical histopathology, genetic and neuroimaging studies has established the involvement of the cerebellar circuits in the physiopathology of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The aim of the present study was to assess at a behavioral level the cerebellar function of preschool children aged 4 to 6 years old with ASD, in comparison to a group of age-matched typically developing (TD) children. Seven clinical tests were administered to measure performance into three main areas of cerebellar function: maintenance of posture, hypotonia (reduced muscle tone), and complex movements. Our results showed that children with ASD performed significantly lower in 6 out of 7 cerebellar tests compared to TD children. These findings indicate that cerebellar-dependent motor behaviours are compromised in preschool children with a diagnosis of ASD. Our findings are consistent with previous studies supporting a general cerebellar dysfunction in children with ASD and indicate that these impairments can emerge and be detected as early as at the preschool period of development.

Author Information
Fotini Tsiftzi, University of Thessaly, Greece
Despina Papoudi, University of Thessaly, Greece
Elias Avramidis, University of Thessaly, Greece
Plousia Misailidi, University of Ioannina, Greece
Filippos Vlachos, University of Thessaly, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2024
Stream: Linguistics, Language & Psychology/Behavioral Science

This paper is part of the ACP2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Tsiftzi F., Papoudi D., Avramidis E., Misailidi P., & Vlachos F. (2024) Behavioral Assessment of Cerebellar Function in Preschool Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder ISSN: 2187-4743 – The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2024 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon