Vestibulo-ocular response and balance control in children and young adults with mild-to-moderate intellectual and developmental disability: A pilot study Academic Article uri icon


  • The vestibulo-ocular response (VOR) may not be fully developed in children with an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD). This study aimed to identify the presence of VOR deficit in children and young adults with unspecified mild-to-moderate intellectual and developmental disability and its effect on balance control. Twenty-one children and young adults with IDD ranging in age from 8 to 22 years (mean 17.5 ± 3.9 years) were included in the study. The VOR was evaluated with the Head Impulse Test and the Static and Dynamic Visual Acuity Test (S&D-VAT). Postural stability was measured in an upright standing position by the Clinical Test for Sensory Interaction in Balance (CTSIB), single leg stance (SLS) during eyes open and eyes closed, and Romberg stance under eyes open and eyes closed conditions using a force platform. Reduced vestibulo-ocular responses were found in 13 of 21 (62%) participants who were able to complete testing. In the fifth condition of the CTSIB (standing on foam with eyes closed), those without VOR deficit were able to maintain balance longer than those with VOR deficit (29 s [median 30] vs. 12 s [median 7.3], respectively; p = 0.03). The study demonstrates potential effects of VOR deficit in children and young adults with IDD and some significant differences in balance control between those with and without a VOR deficit. VOR function in children and young adults with IDD should be routinely tested to enable early detection of deficits.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013