Development of Diagnostic Instruments to Detect and/or Document Neuromotor Dysfunctions in Children

We develop and refine instruments to evaluate neurological integrity and motor development in children:

  • Tools to be used in infancy: assessment of the quality of spontaneous motor behaviour (General Movements and the Infant Motor Profile) and standardized assessment of major and minor neurological dysfunction.
  • Tools to assess minor neurological dysfunction (MND) at preschool age and school age.

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Intervention in Children with Neuromotor Disorders

During the last ten years we developed the early intervention programme “Coping with and caring for infants with special needs – a family centred programme” (COPCA). COPCA is a programme for infants with or at high risk for neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy. Recently the effectiveness of COPCA was investigated in the VIP project and in the LEARN 2 MOVE 0-2 YEAR project. Currently the effect of COPCA is assessed in a Swiss study.

In addition to studies on COPCA, we studied the effect of adaptive seating systems and adaptive horse riding. 

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Development of Postural Control

Children with a developmental disorder virtually always are hampered by impaired postural control. Currently our understanding of the development of postural dysfunction is limited.

We study with the help of surface EMG recording, kinematics, kinetics and video-recording postural control and quality of reaching movements in typically developing children and in children with or at high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy. The children are studied in particular in supine and sitting position.

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Development of Children born after IVF/ICSI

Nowadays up to 4% of children in Europe are born following in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Over the last decades it has been shown that IVF/ICSI is not associated with severe developmental disorders. However, it is unknown whether IVF/ICSI affects long-term developmental outcome [if there are any late consequences of IVF/ICSI with regards to child development.]
We study the long-term effects of IVF/ICSI and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) on child development in its broadest sense.

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