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July 10, 2013
CanChild Today

This issue of CanChild Today features a new In Brief on developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities, exciting announcements, as well as recently published articles by CanChild scientists and research associates.

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Updates & New Resource on CanChild Website (!
CanChild and Bloorview Research Institute offer new joint Postdoctoral Fellowship!
The Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Ontario and CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario have teamed up to offer a 2- or 3-year postdoctoral fellowship in childhood disability. To find out more about this exciting opportunity and how to apply, click here!

Awards and honours
- Congratulations to C Camden, D Anaby (co-PIs), C Missiuna, K Shikako-Thomas,
R Gaines, A Sylvestre, and L Rivard who have received funding from the Edith Strauss Foundation for 2013-2014, 'Promoting the use of a developmental coordination disorder (DCD) knowledge tool by clinicians and provincial parent associations in Quebec'.  
- Danielle Levac won 3rd place, Bloorview Research Institute's Pursuit Award in Childhood Disability, with her presentation 'The use of motor learning strategies within usual and Virtual Reality-based physiotherapy interventions for children with acquired brain injury'.
- The following CanChild Graduate Students were recognized by McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences: Andrea Cross (Excellence Award, Poster Presentation), Lisa Rivard (Excellence Award, Poster Presentation, and Program Excellence Award), and Pranay Jindal (International Trainee Award of Excellence).

Developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities: New In Brief!
The authors of this In Brief synthesized knowledge about the developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities, ages 12 - 25 years in a project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services. Clinical and research experts, youth, parent and community experts, and research literature were all used as sources of evidence in order to validate the results. The results of their synthesis have been used for the ministry's development of a Youth Policy Framework, named Stepping Stones. Read the results here.
Recent Publications by CanChild Scientists & Research Associates
Change in parent-identified goals in young children with cerebral palsy receiving a context-focused intervention: Associations with child, goal and intervention factors
The relationship between goal achievement (using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, or COPM) and child, goal, and intervention factors was explored in this study published in Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. The participants were preschool children with cerebral palsy (CP) who were in the context-focused therapy arm of the Focus on Function Study. The children made large, positive mean changes on the COPM over 6 months with younger children showing greater change. The results provide support for using the COPM as a measure of change in young children with CP. Authors: N Pollock, N Sharma, C Christenson, M Law, JW Gorter, J Darrah. Abstract.


Family-professional collaboration in pediatric rehabilitation: A practice model
'Collaboration involves two-way interactions through which families and professionals share knowledge and skill, make shared decisions on goals and intervention, and build capacity in order to foster family empowerment and optimize outcomes.' The authors of this article published in Disability & Rehabilitation incorporated current knowledge to formulate principles of collaborative service delivery, propose a four-step process of implementation, and to recommend strategies. The model of collaborative service delivery is based on three key principles: family identified needs, shared responsibility, and family empowerment. This model and process is described in detail. Authors: M An, RJ Palisano. Abstract.

Validation of the Focus on the Outcomes of Communication under Six outcome measure
The Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS()) is a tool created at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, designed to measure changes in communication skills in preschool children receiving speech and language therapy. The aim of this study, published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, was to determine the construct validity of the FOCUS. Results: The FOCUS demonstrated both convergent and discriminant validity against the Ages and Stages Questionnaire - Social/Emotional. The FOCUS change corresponded to change measured by a combination of clinical speech and language measures. Authors: N Thomas-Stonell, B Oddson, B Robertson, P Rosenbaum. Full access!

Early identification of autism spectrum disorders
This review published in Behavioural Brain Research describes a synthesis of published findings that differentiate autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) from typical development and from developmental delay in the early years. Evidence from both retrospective studies and prospective studies of high-risk infants indicate that ASD symptoms emerge in the first two years of life, affecting multiple developmental domains, including social-communication, behaviour, motor, and regulation of attention and emotion. Recent findings have offered new information on patterns of symptom onset and progression, which should inform early detection and diagnosis. Authors: L Zwaigenbaum, S Bryson, N Garon. Abstract.
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