October 2020

Welcome to the October edition of CanChild Today! In this issue, we are excited to share the initial results of our COVID-19 survey, Part III of our short video series, news, awards, research opportunity and recent publications by some of our members.

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COVID-19 survey: preliminary results from Canada!
We asked people with disabilities, parents/caregivers, service providers and researchers about the COVID-related supports that exist in their communities. This survey gives a snapshot of what supports are available, what barriers people are facing in accessing the supports they need, and what could be done to address these barriers.  
CanChild in the news!
Pulling together to improve the health of children
Dr. Peter Rosenbaum published an article in The Hamilton Spectator. In the op-ed piece, he shared the important factors that contribute to the improvement of children's health during the pandemic.

I can talk! Technology gives children and youth who cannot speak a voice, and enables an assessment of language comprehension
Canadian Institutes of Health Research -IHDCYH featured C-BiLLT, a computer program used to assess the language comprehension levels of non-verbal children. The article, written by Jael Bootsma, highlights how the tool can also help in setting therapy goals that reflect the skills of the children.

Participate in research!
BrothErs and Sisters involvement in health care TranSition for youth wIth Brain-based disabilitieS (BEST SIBS) Study
Are you a sibling of a brother or sister with a disability? You have a voice too! 

We are looking for siblings who are: 
  • 14 to 25 years old 
  • have a sibling who is 15-17 years old with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or spina bifida 
  • living in Ontario  

Participants will be asked to talk with us in an interview (via Zoom or telephone) and share photographs that describe their sibling relationship. We are offering a $20 e-gift card to thank you for participating in this study. 

For more information, please contact NGUYEL7@mcmaster.ca.
A future filled with opportunities!
In this video, Mussa, Hunter and Marshall show how technology allows
non-verbal people to dream big for the future!
Recent Publications by CanChild Members!
This study provides a 24-hour activity checklist that detects sleep and physical activity problems in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and a CP-specific infographic that facilitates effective 24-hour activity counselling and education. The development of these easy-to-use tools is the first step in identifying and resolving sleep and physical activity problems in children with CP. It is hoped the systematic integration of this 24-hour activity tool into clinical settings can contribute to the broader strategy of promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours for children with CP. Authors: Verschuren O, Hulst RY, Voorman J, Pillen S, Luitwieler N, Dudink J, Gorter JW. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2020 Aug 27. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14654.
Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often require support during their transition from high school to post-secondary education or career paths. Peer Mentorship (PM) programmes create opportunities to support youth with ASD during this transition period. This study aims to identify, describe and synthesize the components of PM that are valuable for youth with ASD and their peer mentors. Data from 131 mentees and 82 mentors show that mentorship, skill-building, peer group, and facilitating transition are essential components of PM. Clear communication and connection between mentors and mentees are also valuable to the success of the programme. Authors: Nguyen L, Jack S, Ketelaar M, Di Rezze B, Soper AK, Gorter JW. Child Care Health Dev. 2020 Aug 25. doi: 10.1111/cch.12804
This study aims to determine physical activity, sleep, and nutrition patterns in individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) and investigate the association of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and age with these health behaviours. All 53 participants with CP completed questionnaires and underwent cardiovascular health assessments. Results suggest that physical activity behaviours, sleep quantity and quality, and nutrition of adolescents and adults with CP require attention from clinicians. Severity (GMFCS I–II vs. III–V) and age were not significantly associated with any component of health. Physical activity, sleep and nutrition should be assessed during clinical encounters of CP in adolescents and adults, regardless of the GMFCS level. Authors: McPhee P, Verschuren O, Peterson M, Tang A, Gorter JW. Ann Rehabil Med. 2020 Jul 28. doi: 10.5535/arm.19156
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