This study assessed the effects of haptic information on the postural control systems of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), through the use of a nonrigid tool that we call the “anchor system” (e.g., ropes attached to graduated weights that rest on the floor). Eleven participants with ID were asked to stand, blindfolded, on a balance beam placed at two heights (10 and 20 cm), for 30 s, while using the anchor system at two weights. The lighter anchor weight appeared to improve the individuals’ balance in contrast to a control task condition; therefore, we concluded that haptic sensitivity was more significant in helping to orient the body than was the anchor’s mechanical support alone.
Eliane Mauerberg-deCastro, Camila de Souza Lucena, Bruna W. Cuba, and Rosana C. Boni are with the Department of Physical Education at São Paulo State University in Rio Claro, Brazil. Debra Frances Campbell is with the Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation, University of Alberta, Canada. Renato Moraes is with the School of Physical Education and Sport at Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.