Improvements in Stability Scores and Image Preference following Neurological Rehabilitation for a 6-year-old Male Patient with a Nonverbal Autism Spectrum Disorder

Derek Barton1, Emily R. Kalambaheti1*, Matthew M. Antonucci1, 2 and Megan Manno3

1 Plasticity Brain Centers, United States

2 Carrick Institute, United States

3 University of Central Florida, United States

Presentation: A 6-year-old male patient presented to Plasticity Brain Centers for evaluation and treatment of Nonverbal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Findings: Upon intake, the patient's eye movements were assessed using the Right Eye Visual and Oculomotor Suite. During a 2-minute image preference video with geometric patterns and children on separate screens, he looked at children 18% of the time and patterns 82% of the time. A Comprehensive Assessment of Postural Systems (CAPS®) (Pagnacco 2014) was performed assessing balance and stability, on a solid and foamed surface, with eyes opened and closed. The average stability score was 0.97%. It should be noted that this stability score is not a true reflection of balance, but instead a reflection of his ability to follow directions and stand still without performing self-stimulating behaviors.

Methods: A 5-day, multi-modal program of neurological exercises was administered in 10 one-hour treatment sessions (Carrick 2017). Each session consisted of repetitive peripheral somatosensory stimuli, neuromuscular reeducation exercises (Antonucci 2016), vestibular rehabilitation exercises, orthoptic exercises, and off-vertical axis rotation (Gdowski 1999) utilizing a multi-axis rotational chair (MARC).

Outcome: Upon exit, the patients eye movements were assessed using the Right Eye Visual Oculomotor Suite. He looked at children 33% of the time and geometric patterns 67% of the time. Stability scores improved, with an average stability score of 39.876% (+4011.55%)

Conclusion: The authors suggest further investigation into multi-modal, intensive approaches to improve stability scores and image preference in patients with nonverbal ASD.


  1. Antonucci MM, Link PE, Barton DA and Carrick FR (2016). Improvement in muscle tone, coordination, balance, ocular-motor function, and communication in a 6-year-old male with developmental delays after 5 days of ReceptorBased treatment. Front. Neurol. Conference Abstract: International Symposium on Clinical Neuroscience: Clinical Neuroscience for Optimization of Human Function. doi: 10.3389/conf.fneur.2016.59.00067
  2. Carrick FR, Clark JF, Pagnacco G, Antonucci MM, Hankir A, Zaman R and Oggero E (2017) Head–Eye Vestibular Motion Therapy Affects the Mental and Physical Health of Severe Chronic Postconcussion Patients. Front. Neurol. 8:414. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00414
  3. Gdowski GT, McCrea RA. Integration of vestibular and head movement signals in the vestibular nuclei during whole-body rotation. J Neurophysiol (1999) 82:436–49
  4. Pagnacco G, Carrick FR, Wright CH, Oggero E. In-situ verification of accuracy, precision and resolution of force and balance platforms. Biomed Sciences instrumentation (2014) 50:171-8

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