Welcome to the June 30th edition of CanChild Today! We are excited to share the latest news and publications by some of our members!

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Dr. Gorter's last day as CanChild Director!
Today marks the official last day of Dr. Jan Willem Gorter as CanChild Director. He first came to CanChild in 2002 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. In 2008, he joined the CanChild team as a Scientist and in 2013 was appointed to the Director role.

"It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Director for eight years," says Dr. Gorter in a tweet thanking the CanChild team. Dr. Gorter will continue his work at CanChild as a Scientist and maintain his part-time faculty appointment at McMaster University.

We wish Dr. Gorter all the best as he transitions into a new position as Chair and Head of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands, effective August 1. In his announcement, he mentioned that "with the research team in the Netherlands, I see many opportunities for continued and future collaborations with everyone in support of our mission to generate knowledge and transform lives of children and their families."
Tips to navigate the healthcare system from a mom!
In an article for CBC Parents, Rachel Martens talked about her experience in navigating the healthcare system as a mom of a child with a rare disease and shared advice for parents who are on the same journey.

Rachel mentioned the importance of creating a health information binder with basic medical details about your child. She also reminded parents to document unusual patterns of behaviour, sleep issues, or other data that may contribute to discussions with healthcare providers. Lastly, she emphasized that "it's OK — and often necessary — to say something... It’s not an easy habit to adopt, but with practice it does get easier over time."
3rd Edition GMFM Manual now avaiable!
The Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66 & GMFM-88) User’s Manual 3rd Edition is now available for pre-order at the Mac Keith Press website.

What's new?

  • Updates on the Challenge module and the Quality Function Measure
  • Translations
  • Use of GMFM in populations other than Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome
  • Information and Appendix on the updated Gross Motor Ability Estimator (GMAE-3) algorithm and GMFM App+ scoring software.

Peter L Rosenbaum, and Lisa M Avery.
Recent Publications by CanChild Members!
Social and non-social sensory responsivity in toddlers at high-risk for autism spectrum disorder
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have different behaviours in avoiding or noticing sensory input (e.g., sounds or touching) compared to those without ASD. The reason for this is widely unknown. The goal of this study is to examine whether social versus non-social context impacts the expression of sensory responsivity in infants at high risk of ASD. Data from 338 infants showed that sensory responsivity increased in both social and non-social situations, indicating that sensory responsivity has generalized properties that are not necessarily particular to socially salient information or social contexts. Future research may look at the potential of using the information on sensory responsivity for early identification or intervention of ASD. Authors: Gunderson J, Worthley E, Grzadzinski R, Burrows C, Estes A, Zwaigenbaum L, Botteron K, Dager S, Hazlett H, Schultz R, Piven J, Wolff J; IBIS Network.Autism Res. 2021 Jun 19. DOI: 10.1002/aur.2556
Exploring the use of Halliwick aquatic therapy in the rehabilitation of children with disabilities: a scoping review
Halliwick method is a specific approach to aquatic therapy based on properties of water to encourage muscle strength, independent movement, and balance control. To better understand the incorporation of Halliwick method in pediatric rehabilitation research, this scoping review analyzed 24 articles on childhood disability. Most of the research that used Halliwick method focused on children with Cerebral Palsy or Autism Spectrum Disorder, which shows the knowledge gap about this method's benefits and limitations. Future studies should include children with disabilities other than those represented in the literature and broaden the scope to assess activity, participation, and personal factors. Authors: Rohn S, Novak Pavlic M, Rosenbaum P. Child Care Health Dev. 2021 Jun 21. DOI: 10.1111/cch.12887.
Caregiver perspectives of managing chronic pain in children and adolescents with dyskinetic and mixed dyskinetic/spastic CP with communication limitations
Mothers of children and adolescents with dyskinetic and mixed dyskinetic/spastic cerebral palsy participated in interviews and shared the personal challenges they face in managing chronic pain. Five themes emerged from the interviews: (1) continual challenge of problem-solving pain and dyskinesia, (2) pursuit of a solution, (3) unfulfilled preferences within pain management, (4) all-encompassing effects on families, and (5) ongoing impacts of pain and dyskinesia with age. This study showed the need for developing structured pain education and resources for caregivers as well as meeting their preferences for nonpharmacological pain treatments using family-centred care models. Authors: McKinnon C, White J, Harvey A, Antolovich G, Morgan P. J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2021 Jun 13. DOI: 10.3233/PRM-200770.
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