The prone extension postural test is a measurement of vestibular functioning that has been used by occupational therapists in assessing children suspected of having vestibular system deficits. The purpose of this study was to standardize the prone extension postural test because no standardized procedures or normative data were previously available for its administration.
Reliability and validity were estimated and normative data gathered on 242 normal children ranging in age from 4 through 8 years. Performance involving duration and score on a qualitative scale was recorded. Four and 5 year olds performed similarly and statistically, and significantly differently from 6, 7, and 8 year olds. When a small group of learning-disabled children was compared to a nondisabled group, the prone extension postural test differentiated between the two groups with the exception of the 4 year olds.