Asperger’s and Sleep Patterns

In the November issue of the journal SLEEP,  Dr. Oliviero Bruni MD reports on research regarding sleep patterns of children with Asperger Syndrome.  His research indicated that children with Asperger Syndrome have more difficulty initiating sleep and sleep restlessness.

Reference:  Children with Asperger Syndrome More Likely to Have Sleep Problems.  Retrieved from the web on 11/2/07 at


Obesity and Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy:

Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reports that the rise in obesity is the general population is also seen in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.  The obesity rate in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy has risen from 7.7% to 16.5% over the last ten years.  In addition, the researchers found that children with GMFCS Level II were twice as likely to become obese that children at GMFCS III.

Reference: Rogozinski, Benjamin M., Davids, Jon R., Davis, Roy B., Christopher, Lisa M., Anderson, Jason P., Jameson, Gene G., Blackhurst, Dawn W. Prevalence of Obesity in Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy J Bone Joint Surg Am 2007 89: 2421-2426.


Birth Size and Motor Reponses at Ages 7-9:

Pediatrics journal reports that head size at birth, lower birth weight and ponderal index (divide birth weight in kg. by length in cm. cubed) were associated with increased motor activity (symptom of hyperactivity) when 7-9 year olds boys were under stress.  There was no assocation for girls.

Reference:  Schlotz, Wolff, Jones, Alexander, Phillips, Naomi M.M., Godfrey, Keith M., Phillips, David I.W. Size at Birth and Motor Activity During Stress in Children Aged 7 to 9 Years Pediatrics 2007 120: e1237-e1244.


Upper Extremity Casting

In a review of the literature regarding upper extremity casting for adults and children with central nervous system disorders, it was determined that there is insufficient evidence to support or refute using this technique to reduce tone, contractures, pain, edema or spasticity in the upper extremity.

Reference:  Lannin, N.A., Novak, I., Cusick, A. A systematic review of upper extremity casting for children and adults with central nervous system motor disorders. Clinical Rehabilitation 2007 21: 963-976.


Life Skills for Youth with Physical Disabilities

A recent review of the literature determined that there is minimal research on life skill programs for youth with physical disabilities.  A handful of studies indicated that real world and role playing experiences resulted in short term improvements.  More research is required on this topic.

Reference:  Kingsnorth, S, Healy, H., Macarthur C. (2007) Preparing for Adulthood: A Systemic Review of Life Skill Programs for youth with Physical Disabilities. Journal of Adolescent Health 41 (4): 323-332.


Muscle Strengthening and Aerobic Training in CP

The latest issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reports that  a 12 week program, 3x/week for 70 minute sessions of aerobic and strength training resulted in improved aerobic capacity, improved gross motor skills and reduced oxygen cost in adolescents with cerebral palsy.

Reference:  VB Unnithan, G Katsimanis, C Evangelinou, C Kosmas, I Kandrali, and E Kellis Effect of strength and aerobic training in children with cerebral palsy.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007; 39 (11):abstract.


Activity Levels of Children with Chronic Health Issues

The Winter 2007 edition of Pediatric Physical Therapy reports that third grade children who have chronic health conditions are more likely to be overweight and experience poor physical or mental health than their peers.

Reference:  Gannotti, M, Veneri, D, & Roberts, D (2007) Weight Status and Physical Activity in Third Graders with Chronic Health Conditions.  Research Report.  Pediatric Physical Therapy. 19(4):301-308.


School Readiness and Later Achievement

The latest issue of Developmental Psychology, reports that math, reading and attention skills are the best predictors of later academic achievement in math and reading.  Surprisingly, math skills had the greatest predictive power, followed by reading and attention skills.  Socioemotional and social skills were not predictors of later achievement.  The researchers recommend early learning of math, reading and attention skills through play not through routine drills.

Reference:  Duncan, G., Claessens, A., Engel, M. et al. (2007) School readiness and Later Achievement. Developmental Psychology 43 (6): 1428-1446.


Adolescent Girls and Physical Activity

The Journal of Pediatrics reports that girls who reach puberty at an early age (11 years old) are less active at age 13 years old than their later maturing peers.  These findings were independent of body fat percentages.

Reference:  Baker, B., Birch, L., Trost, S., Davison, K. (2007) Advanced Pubertal Status at Age 11 and Lower Physical Activity in Adolescent Girls.  Pediatrics 151(5): 488-493.


Ketogenic Diet and Seizures

In an early online article,  researchers report that ketogenic diets show the best results in seizure reduction are within the first 1-2 weeks of the diet if it is going to be effective.  If the diet was started with a fasting period, seizure reduction may be quicker although long term seizure reduction is the same.  According to these researchers, if no improvements in seizure reduction are seen with the ketogenic diet after 2 months, it can probably be stopped.

Reference:  Eric H. Kossoff, Linda C. Laux, Robyn Blackford, Peter F. Morrison, Paula L. Pyzik, Rana M. Hamdy, Zahava Turner, Douglas R. Nordli Jr  When do seizures usually improve with the ketogenic diet? Epilepsia (OnlineEarly Articles).   doi:10.1111/j.1528- 1167.2007.01417.x