Visual and Motor Problems in Low Birth Weight Children

Recent research indicated that adolescents with a significant birth history for low birth weight had higher odds for motor problems that were influenced by visual problems (especially visual acuity). Adolescents with a birth history of small for gestational age had higher odds for motor problems when compared to control group but the motor problems were not affected by visual problems.

Reference:  Kari Anne I. Evensen, Susanne Lindqvist, Marit S. Indredavik, Jon Skranes, Ann-Mari Brubakk and Torstein Vik (2008) Do visual impairments affect risk of motor problems in preterm and term low birth weight adolescents? European Journal of Paeditric Neurology doi:10.1016/j.ejpn.2008.02.009


Baclofen therapy and Spastic CP

The European Journal of  Paeditric Neurology recently published a study stating that 17 children with intractable spastic cerebral palsy exhibited relief from pain, improved mental health and easier care following continuous infusion of intrathecal baclofen at 12 and 24 months.

Reference:  Marjanke A. Hoving, Elisabeth P.M. van Raak, Geert H.J.J. Spincemaille et al.  (2008) Safety and one-year efficacy of intrathecal baclofen therapy in children with intractable spastic cerebral palsy.  European Journal of Paeditric Neurology doi:10.1016/j.ejpn.2008.05.002


PT and Premature Infants

The Journal of Perinatology  reports that physical therapy 15 minutes per day/ 5 days per week for 15 premature infants resulted in increased growth, body weight, bone mineral content, bone mineral density, bone area and lean mass when compared to 14 premature infants in the control group who did not receive physical therapy.

Reference:  C M Vignochi, E Miura and L H Canani (2008) Effects of motor physical therapy on bone mineralization in premature infants: a randomized controlled study.  Journal of Perinatology advance online publication 17 July 2008; doi: 10.1038/jp.2008.60


Physical Activity Levels in 9 to 15 Year Olds

The Journal of the American Medical Association published research that concluded that moderate to vigorous physical activity declines significantly from 9 to 15 years of age.    Nine years old participated in 3 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day whereas 15 year old participated in 39-45 minutes per day.

Reference:  Philip R. Nader; Robert H. Bradley; Renate M. Houts; Susan L. McRitchie; Marion O’Brien Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity From Ages 9 to 15 Years JAMA. 2008;300(3):295-305.


Autism and Genetics

A recent study by Harvard Medical Department and others report in the July issue of Science new information regarding autism and genes.  The researchers have identified several genes that are different in children with autism effecting the brain’s ability to make connections from experience.

Reference:  Fliesler, Nancy (2008) Middle Eastern families yield intriguing clues to autism Retrieved from the web at… on July 14, 2008.


Gluten and Casein Free Diets and Autism

A recent extensive review of the literature by the Cochrane Library indicates that there is a lack of evidence to support the practice of gluten and casein free diets as an effective treatment for autism.  Much larger studies are recommended to determine is this is an effective treatment and potential side effects.

Reference:  Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003498. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003498.pub3


EEG in Children with Developmental Disabilities

The July issue of Epilepsy and Behavior, researchers report that behavioral interventions such as modeling, counter-conditioning, escape extinction and differential reinforcement based shaping procedures was effective in encouraging EEG compliance in children with developmental disabilities therefore avoiding sedation, restraints or anesthesia.

Reference:  Keith J. Slifer, Kristin T. Avis and Robin A. Frutchey (2008) Behavioral intervention to increase compliance with eectroencephalographic procedures in children with developmental disabilities Epilepsy and Behavior 13 (1): 189-195.


Great Links to Check Out for FREE stuff for school based therapists:

Another great FREE assitive technology tool.  Check out WebAnywhere.  This is a screen reader that the blind or auditory learners can use on any computer.  You do not need to download any software to use it. Check it out at: