Predictors of independent walking in children with spastic diplegia

Ermellina Fedrizzi, Paola Facchin, Michela Marzaroli, Emanuela Pagliano, Gabriella Botteon, Luciana Percivalle, Elisa Fazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A prospective study was carried out to identify predictors of independent walking in 31 children with either spastic diplegia or triplegia, observed from the age of 9 to 18 months (mean, 11 months) and followed for a mean period of 30 months (range, 24 to 36 months). Mean age at most recent examination was 41 months (range, 36 to 54 months). We used an 18-item scheme to chart the acquisition, from the prone position, of prelocomotor, sitting, and locomotor skills. Examinations were conducted every 6 months and videotaped according to a standardized procedure. At latest assessment 18 (58%) of the 31 children had achieved walking, 7 (23%) independently and 11 (35%) with assistance; 13 (42%) did not achieve walking. Ambulatory status was related to developmental quotient and visual acuity: all the children who became independent walkers had normal visual acuity and in 86% of cases a normal general development quotient. Moreover, we found a significant correlation between the number of gross motor skills achieved and the rate of achievement before 2 years of age and ambulatory status at 3 to 5 years of age. Ability to put weight on the hands while prone and to roll from supine to prone position by 18 months of age were significantly related to independent walking, while ability to sit without support was predictive only at around 24 months of age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-234
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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