Manual Dexterity and Cognitive Functioning in Children

Manual Dexterity and Cognitive Functioning in ChildrenManual Dexterity and Cognitive Functioning in Children

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology published research examining the relationship of manual dexterity and cognitive functioning in children after neonatal arterial ischemic stroke regardless of a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. The participants included 60 children with a past history of neonatal arterial ischemic stroke without epilepsy.  Fifteen children had a diagnosis of cerebral palsy which was clinically assessed at an average age of 7 years 2 months.

The following tests were used:

  • Nine-Hole Peg Test to assess finger dexterity.
  • Box and Blocks Test to assess hand dexterity.
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children to assess cognitive functioning.

Simple and multiple linear regression models were completed while controlling for socioeconomic status, lesion side, and sex. Statistical analysis revealed the following regarding manual dexterity and cognitive functioning:

  1. In simple regression models, both manual dexterity and cerebral palsy were associated with cognitive functioning.
  2. In multiple regression models, manual dexterity was the ONLY associated variable of cognitive functioning whether or not a child had cerebral palsy.

The researchers concluded that just like typically developing children, manual dexterity is related to cognitive functioning when children have a past history of a focal brain insult during the neonatal period.  It was determined that manual dexterity predicts cognitive functioning after neonatal arterial ischaemic stroke, therefore, motor ability may support cognitive functioning.

Reference:  Thébault, G., Martin, S., Brouillet, D., Brunel, L., Dinomais, M., Presles, É., … & AVCnn Study Group. (2018). Manual dexterity, but not cerebral palsy, predicts cognitive functioning after neonatal stroke. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

Therapeutic Play Activities for Children Download

Therapeutic Play Activities for Children digital download includes 100 play activity pages and 12 tip sheets. The play activities encourage the development of fine motor skills, bimanual skills, rolling, crawling, tall kneeling, standing balance and cruising with a strong focus on children with cerebral palsy.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.

Manual Dexterity and Cognitive Functioning in Children