Parents sometimes worry that a child born with motor function problems like cerebral palsy might fall behind socially. A new study in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology might smooth over some of these worries. Cerebral Palsy News Today has the story.
The study looked at 121 people with cerebral palsy. The researchers wanted to know how CP affects social skills over time. They followed the children for 13 years starting in childhood.
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100 of the participants had no trouble coping socially as they moved through life, so long as their CP wasn’t at the severest levels. “Although poor gross motor function may affect communication and social interactions, it does not reflect communicative and social capabilities,” they said. “Therefore, healthcare professionals should not underestimate the communicative and social capabilities of young individuals with CP based on GMFCS levels.”
However, those with severe CP did suffer a lot of social deficits. Also, the sample size of the study participants who had CP and intellectual disability was too small to draw any definite conclusions. More study is needed for these cases.
Nevertheless, parents should work on encouraging a child with CP to work on their communication skills. This study shows that cerebral palsy doesn’t have to hold people back in these areas.