32 answers

16 Month Old Walking on Her Tip Toes All the Time

I have a 16 month old and she walks on her tip toes all the time except when she is wearing her shoes (guess it is hard to tip toe with shoes on).
I want to know if that is normal.
The reason that I ask is that someone told me that is a sign of autism.
I don't know if that is true or not. She seems to be a very loving, calm, and VERY bright child.

What can I do next?

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My daughter is now 3 and walked on her toes all the time at that age. I asked her doctors about this and they were not too concerned. They said it was pretty normal. She still walks on her tippy toes from time to time, but for the most part she walks flat footed. Don't worry, she will probably grow out of this habit.

I would have to say its normal. Both of my little brothers and my little girl did that to. My youngest bro is 18 now and I think he still does it sometimes. None of them are autistic.

I have a friend and her grandaughter has walked on her tip toes since the day that she started walking. There isn't any sign of Autism and she is a well rounded extremely bright 1st grader working above her grade level in a few subjects.

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I have a friend and her grandaughter has walked on her tip toes since the day that she started walking. There isn't any sign of Autism and she is a well rounded extremely bright 1st grader working above her grade level in a few subjects.

Not neccesarily autism, but it can signal a neurological condition. I have a son with a movement disorder, and the tiptoe walking was one of the first signs that he had this condition. My youngest tiptoe walked too, and he is fine. I would suggest you make an appointment with a dev. specialist to rule out anything, if you have any concerns. Good luck!

I do know someone whose son has autism, and this was one of the early signs the doctor saw. I've read that if your child is walking on their tiptoes, you should alert your doctor. However, not sure it is always the case, especially if that is the only sign.

I walked on my tip toes until I was in high school! I am now a very normal 30 year old. No one really knows why I did it, it was just something I grew out of.

My oldest daughter (who's 7 yrs old) walked on her toes ALL the time and still does from time to time. She is very bright and definitely not autistic. I think some children just do this. I'm not sure about the autism thing for your daughter. If you are concerned about that, you should check with your dr. Good luck!

My nephew will be 3 in April and he still walks on his tip toes when he doesn't have on shoes. Don't worry they'll outgrow it eventually. He is a brilliant child, no worries.

We have some friends whose son did this. He is NOT autistic though. They watched him for several years--all the while attempting to teach him to walk normally. The pediatrician referred them to a specialist. Turned out he did have a problem with some of the ligaments in his ankle. He had surgery and within weeks, was running, walking (mostly running!!!!) and jumping like a normal boy would. Today, three years later, you would never know there was a problem with his feet, unless you look very very carefully to see his surgery scars---they are very very little!

So all that to say......there is hope out there.....and this is the first I have heard of autism associated with walking on the toes.

S. :)

Congratulations on your FREDOM!

Walking on toes is an issue im dealing with right now! My 9 month old neice is living with us and i noticed she kept her toes pointed all the time. Even if it could be a sign of a neurological disorder, i wouldn't get worried just yet. It could just be that the muscle or ligamet is growing slower then he leg. Our doctor has us use work on streeching the muscle and The aquilise(spelling) tendon everyday everyday. We are careful not to hurt her but the muscle is getting looser and her fett sre looking better. We do it with massage and through play. She really loves the intense one on one time.. I like it too. I have also known other people who have the same problem. My friends grandaughter is nine and still walks on her toes when barefoot. the doctor has them working on streeching the muscle and tendon. he thinks that hers probably hurts to keep her feet flat. They also keep her in the same type of shoes everyday. Don't borrow trouble and get worried until you have discussed this with her doctor. It could just be stiff muscles and a short tendon.

Ill keep your familly in my prayers

My friends grandbaby walked on her toes a lot, but she just liked to do it. She is fine and talks so much now. She is now two. I'd check with my doctor.

Also, when my kids were little, my doctor told me not to put shoes on their feet, especially hard shoes. He said that a persons feet are made the way they are suppose to be and manmade shoes shouldn't be used to alter the shape of their feet, unless there is a problem.

My daughter is now 3 years old and still walks on her tip toes... it runs in my husband's family. All of the grandchildren walked on their tip toes and they are all grown up now and none of them are austistic!... hope this helps!

My aunt has a granddaughter who did the same thing. And now, her grandson has started it. The doctor working with them did a very simple thing, he told Bailey to walk on "flat feet." That has become the mantra all the adults use when they see her tiptoeing. They all just say "flat feet," and she responds by dropping her heels. She was a bit older than your child when they started and they explained to her that her muscles would develop better, etc. However, the simplest way has worked and is working most of the time with the toddler (16 months old, also.)

It is only 1 of the signs of Autism!! There are many more and from what I read they need like 6 TRAITS before they are diagnosed. Major signs are not talking,no social contact,and seizures!! If you have questions about it go to www.nationalautismcenter.org. But I know lots of kids walk on their toes and it be nothing. You could always ask your doctor. K.

Years ago I had a cousin who walked on his tip toes. He did it all the time. He was taken to doctor's and it was determined at about the age of two that it had become a habit with him and the tendons in the back of his leg had tightened so he could not walk flat. Surgery was not performed; in fact, they straightened his feet into the correct position and casted them. After months of wearing the casts; that he could actually run in, his tendons stretched out and now he is 32 years old and walks perfectly. I think with all the knowledge of various conditions such as autism we tend to think something more is wrong than actually might be. Just wanted to share this experience.

M., that actually IS a sign of autism, HOWEVER...unless your daughter is showing other signs as well (not speaking/regression in language, social interaction difficulty, strict adherance to routine, lining toys up in a particular order, showing interest in only one subject, poor/no eye contact, aggression, repetative movements, etc) then you probably are only going through a phase. My son is 9 and has autism. He did walk on his tiptoes when he was younger. The thing with autism & tiptoe walking is that it continues well beyond a normal point. Tiptoe walking is ALSO a normal phase most all toddlers go through, so it's hard to determine autism by just that one thing. My son is still doing the tiptoe thing, but not as frequently. So he's beeing doing it for 8 years. But there are lots of other things that go along with autism for you to watch out for. If you are concerned, talk to you pediatrician and you can also find TONS of information on the internet (which is how I eventually had to do it because no one would give me any answers). Just google autism & you'll be able to find signs & symptoms.

Hello, M.. My sister used to do that when she was little. I thought it was cute. She ended up going to Shriner's and getting braces put on from the knee down. She was supposed to wear them so many hours a day as they were attached to her shoes. I can't remember if it was her tendon or ligament, but it was too short and needed to be a little longer for her to walk flat footed comfortably. She's grown now and walking just fine. Unfortunately, she did not grow up to be a ballerina. LOL

I have also heard that walking on tiptoes is something that you should alert your pediatrition about. I would have her checked out, just to make sure there is no neurological disfunction that point to something like autism.

Congratuations on your new found freedom! I was with an abusive psychopath for 7 years and it is so liberating to be able to think and act for yourself again - despite the shape you have been left in.

My daughter started walking on her tip-toes as well. We would call her our "little ballerina". She didn't start walking until 17 months. She's now 19 months old and walks just fine. I think it's just a "tippy toe" phase they all go through at first.

I would bring it up with her pediatrician at the 18 month check. Could be nothing, but it sometimes is a symptom for some other things, the earlier you rule them out, the better.

I have a daughter that is 3 1/2. She has walked on her tippy toes since she started walking at 14 months. We were concerned for awhile so we had her checked out by the pediatrician and a physical therapist. The PT said that some kids do it because of the muscles in the calves being too tight but this was not the case with my daughter. She just likes to do it.(she even does it with shoes on) You might have a PT check her out just in case but otherwise wouldn't worry about it. Good luck.


I have walked on my tiptoes ALL my life. My family would tel me "flat feet". They too were worried b/c the doctor's back then said it could be too short tendons, etc. I Grew up in all advanced placement classes, graduated top of my class, you get the picture. I am currently in my mid 30's and have no problems. I am told that from time to time I do walk on my toes still...mostly in socks, flat shoes, etc. I find I run faster on my toes. I have had NO problems with walking on my toes...I used to even model in fashion showes...

I have little cousins who started doing the same thing when they were younger. My Aunt asked me about it...they are boys. She had her doctor check them out...nothing has been wrong with any of us...the doctors says there's really no explaination for it. So If your child is NOT showing any other symptoms of autism, and her tendons are "long enough" I'd just let her be...

hi, it could be a sign of low muscle tone or tightened/shortened hamstrings...my son has a metabolic disorders...and one of the side effect can be tightened/shortened hamstrings...he however does have low muscle tone in his legs..if it is shortenend hamstrings..will try physical therapy....and in severe cases surgery is an option...does your son have any other problems...maybe try stretching his legs ____@____.com
if you wanna chat


My daughter is now 3 and walked on her toes all the time at that age. I asked her doctors about this and they were not too concerned. They said it was pretty normal. She still walks on her tippy toes from time to time, but for the most part she walks flat footed. Don't worry, she will probably grow out of this habit.

Hi M. M.
My second son walked on his tippy toes and gradually outgrew it and it didn't bother him in the least. He is also a college graduate, married with two fine son's. He is a Civil Engineer and quiet a success at 32. Find another friend beside the one who told you "sign of autism". Just enjoy your children. Love and Prayers, Grandma

Most children start out walking on tip toes from what I understand. I know both of mine did and they are 10 and 7 and they walk normally now. If you nitpick, everything could be a sign of something. I don't know why people insist on freaking us out over the smallest things.

First congradulations on taking control of your life. I have a autistic granddaughter and I don't remember seeing her walk on her tippy toes. But, her sister did and she is a very intelligent and successful lady now

My Mother took me to the Doctor when I was about this age because I walked on my tip toes with my toes curled under. She thought something was seriously wrong with me. The Doctor told her to put shoes on me and I would stop. I am not saying that nothing is wrong with your child, but I also want you to know that there are cases where this is not unusual. Try keeping shoes on your child as much as possible and see if it corrects the problem.

Hi M.,

My daughter has done the same exact thing all of her life. I was worried about when she was younger, she is now 7. No signs of autism~she is very bright.

I use to worry about it, and tried to adjust it by making her wear shoes all the time. That didn't work, it wasn't long until she was on her toes in the shoes.

What I did find out is that she loves to dance. Ballet more than tap and she is good at it. Her legs are stronger than either of the boys and she can RUN.

Maybe it is a hint from God that she is meant to DANCE! Smile and enjoy!

Completely normal! I also have a 16 month old girl who does the same thing and shows no signs of autism! She's flat-footed in shoes and tip-toes in socks. Her doctor says it's very common for toddlers to start walking this way and eventually they'll grow out of it. :0)

I would definitely say this is normal. My 18 month old son hasn't walked on his tip toes too much, but my cousin's little girl has always done that. She's 5 now, and still does it sometimes when she isn't wearing shoes. She is smart, funny, and adorable and absolutely does not have autism! I have worked with kids all my life and have noticed that alot of them walk on tip toes at that age. I wouldn't worry about it, but if you feel there may be a problem, I would ask a doctor.

First, congratulations on your new-found independence. Abusive psychopaths lead their spouses down only one road--to destruction. And, your 3 sons need counseling to get them beyond the influence of that role model right away. Surely you meant you live with your 3 sons and your baby daughter, right?

Now to the toes and walking. My granddaughter did something similar as a small child. Her doctor said that she had what was known as a "shortened achilles tendon." He recommended good shoes and constant wearing of same to encourage her to work on flattening out her step. No sandals or gellies or such. He also took the time to explain to her in simple terms how important her walking and running agility would be when she was a big girl and how hard she might have to work to improve her stride. You know what? She did, indeed, rehab her own little feet, with our help, and walks and runs normally today.

Autism is a serious, quite tragic illness and the disorder de jour, so to speak, with young parents now that we know a little more about it. But, please don't jump to conclusions based on a worst case scenario before you consult a competent pediatrician. Very few children actually are autistic, you know.

Hi M.! Well, my 9 year old daughter has walked and stood on her tiptoes, and sometimes even rolled her toes under and stood almost on the tops of them, since she started pulling up and learning to walk. I never thought anything about it because it was so cute to watch her. She really isn't very good at soccer because it's hard to control the ball when you run and kick on your tippy toes...however, she is a great dancer! Ms Sherry, her dance teacher, told her she has perfect pointe toes!! So this is her first year of pointe ballet, and she LOVES it!! Also there is no signs of autism, she is a straight A honor roll student, in the Gifted and Talented program, Odyssey of the Mind, lots of friends, and involved in way to much stuff!! LOL, don't fret, maybe she will turn out to be a great ballerina too!!

I would have to say its normal. Both of my little brothers and my little girl did that to. My youngest bro is 18 now and I think he still does it sometimes. None of them are autistic.

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