Development curves of communication and social interaction in individuals with cerebral palsy
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AIM: To determine development curves of communication and social interaction from childhood into adulthood for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). METHOD: This Pediatric Rehabilitation Research in the Netherlands (PERRIN)-DECADE study longitudinally assessed 421 individuals with CP, aged from 1 to 20 years at baseline, after 13 years (n=121 at follow-up). Communication and social interactions were assessed using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. We estimated the average maximum performance limit (level) and age at which 90% of the limit was reached (age90 ) using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. RESULTS: One-hundred individuals without intellectual disability were aged 21 to 34 years at follow-up (39 females, 61 males) (mean age [SD] 28y 5mo [3y 11mo]). Limits of individuals without intellectual disability, regardless of Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level, approached the maximum score and were significantly higher than those of individuals with intellectual disability. Ages90 ranged between 3 and 4 years for receptive communication, 6 and 7 years for expressive communication and interrelationships, 12 and 16 years for written communication, 13 and 16 years for play and leisure, and 14 and 16 years for coping. Twenty-one individuals with intellectual disability were between 21 and 27 years at follow-up (8 females, 13 males) (mean age [SD] 24y 7mo [1y 8mo]). Individuals with intellectual disability in GMFCS level V showed the least favourable development, but variation between individuals with intellectual disability was large. INTERPRETATION: Individuals with CP and without intellectual disability show developmental curves of communication and social interactions similar to typically developing individuals, regardless of their level of motor function. Those with intellectual disability reach lower performance levels and vary largely in individual development. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Communication and social interactions in individuals with cerebral palsy without intellectual disability develop similarly to typically developing individuals. Communication and social interactions of individuals with intellectual disability develop less favourably and show large variation.
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