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.