CanChild Website
March 19, 2012
CanChild Today

CanChild Today features CanChild research and resources that address child health issues important to children and youth, their families and service providers. Here we have highlighted recently published articles and newly funded studies involving CanChild investigators. To find out more about CanChild, or to locate more resources, please visit


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Exciting New Research Grants!

Congratulations to Doreen Bartlett and fellow co-investigators (Sally Westcott-McCoy, Lisa Chiarello, Bob Palisano, Lynn Jeffries, Alyssa Fiss, Jan Willem Gorter, and Steve Hanna) on their success in a recent Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) competition. Their grant titled "Developmental Trajectories of Impairments, Associated Health Conditions, and Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy" will build on their previous work in the Move & PLAY study!  


Virginia Wright and Barbara Gibson (co-principal investigators), and co-investigators John Anderson, Darcy Fehlings, Cheryl Glazebook, Ronit Mesterman, Peter Rosenbaum and Ellen Wood, were awarded funding for their study titled "The Challenge Module for evaluating advanced motor skills of children with cerebral palsy: From measurement to child-centred goal setting."  This 3 year, CIHR funded study, will advance development of the Challenge Module, a measure of gross motor skills, and develop guidelines for its use in identifying meaningful physical activities with children in GMFCS Level I, and their families.

The Ontario Brain Institute recently announced funding for three cutting edge projects that will enhance our understanding of brain disorders. Darcy Fehlings (Holland Bloorview) and colleagues Virginia Wright, Peter Rosenbaum, and Jan Willem Gorter are part of a network of world-renowned researchers from across Ontario that received funding to investigate childhood hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Click here to read more.

Resources on CanChild's website (

Adolescents with Motor Difficulties: A Resource for Educators

This flyer is part of the "MATCH the task to the child" series for school-aged children who have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) or similar motor challenges. The MATCH flyers provide information for educators, outlining common classroom issues, presenting specific strategies for all classroom grade levels and describing accommodations that have been found to help students with motor difficulties participate more successfully at school. Click to view English and French (new!) adolescent flyers, and here to view all MATCH flyers.

Recent CanChild Publications

Peer victimization and depression in children with and without motor coordination difficulties

This study examined the mental health implications of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) by investigating the risk of peer victimization and depression in fifth-grade children with and without poor motor coordination and explored the degree to which poor motor coordination and peer victimization predicted depression. The authors suggest that an enhanced understanding of how poor motor coordination impacts children socially and psychologically is necessary so resource personnel can provide appropriate support. E-published ahead of print in Psychology in the Schools. Click here for resources on the CanChild website. Authors: W Campbell, C Missiuna, T Vaillancourt. Abstract.


What attributes determine severity of function in autism? A web-based survey of stakeholders

This article, published in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, describes a web-based survey of international stakeholders with expertise in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They were asked to consider function and constructs needed to classify functional subgroups of preschool children with ASD. Ninety-five percent reported that function was one way for subclassification. Two domains judged most important were communication (55%) and social function (22%). Respondents indicated that these areas were difficult to disentangle. Click here to read about the Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication study. Authors: B Di Rezze, P Rosenbaum, L Zwaigenbaum. Abstract


Perceptions of vulnerability and variations in childrearing practices of parents of infants born preterm

The purpose of this study published in Pediatric Physical Therapy was to determine differences in parents' perceptions of child vulnerability and their childrearing practices that affect motor development in Canadian, Norwegian, and Dutch sites, as well as to determine the relationship between parents' beliefs about their infants born preterm and their own childrearing practices. Study results and implications for clinicians are highlighted. (Note: The Daily Activities of Infants Scale (DAIS) was used in this study, and can be found here.) Authors: DJ Bartlett, MW Nijhuis-van der Sanden, B Fallang, JK Fanning, S Doralp. Abstract.


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD): A pilot diffusion tensor imaging study

Researchers from UBC and CanChild explored the integrity of motor, sensory, and cerebellar pathways in children with and without DCD using diffusion tensor imaging. The results of this pilot study indicate that the mean diffusivity of motor and sensory pathways is lower in children with DCD, compared to control subjects. Replication in a larger study is needed to confirm these findings. Published in Pediatric Neurology. Authors: JG Zwicker, C Missiuna, SR Harris, LA Boyd. Abstract.


Defining the active ingredients of interactive computer play interventions for children with neuromotor impairments: A scoping review

The purpose of this scoping review published in Research in Developmental Disabilities was to identify the 'active ingredients' of Interactive Computer Play (ICP) interventions that are designed to improve motor outcomes in children with neuromotor impairments. Identification of active ingredients of ICP (or the reasons why it is expected to be effective), can inform trial design and clinical decision-making. Authors: D Levac, L Rivard, C Missiuna. Abstract.

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