Developmental and Functional Abilities in Children With Cerebral Palsy as Related to Pattern and Level of Motor Function
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Abilities among school-aged children with cerebral palsy with different patterns and levels of motor function were evaluated. Children within spasticity patterns (33 with quadriplegia, 25 with hemiplegia, 19 with diplegia) and Gross Motor Function Classification System levels were compared (level I, walking = 47%; level II-III, restricted ambulation = 18%; level IV-V, wheelchair needs = 34%,). Outcomes included measures of intelligence, behavior, motor, and functional limitations (communication, daily living, socialization). Motor performance and prosocial behaviors were lower for children with quadriplegia (F = 16.13, 12.71; P < .0001), with no differences for behavioral difficulties between spasticity groups. Prosocial behaviors were different between level IV-V and other groups (F = 16.25, P < .0001). Functional limitations were more likely for children with quadriplegia (P < .0001), but not diplegia or hemiplegia, and for children in level IV-V, but similar for level I and level II-III. Children with quadriplegia, or level IV-V, are more likely to exhibit limitations, whereas children with better motor function (I-III), hemiplegia, or diplegia, exhibit diverse capabilities. A holistic assessment approach is essential to ensure that limitations are addressed comprehensively.
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