Can baby’s early movements predict learning difficulties later in childhood?
The Early Moves study is investigating whether a baby’s early movements can predict learning difficulties later in childhood.
This study will help us to better understand how to recognise developmental difficulties early enough to provide support and intervention when babies brains are most able to benefit in the first year of life, a critical period of brain development.
We think that the movement pattern in very young babies may help us predict learning difficulties. Babies’ early movements develop in a very particular way, and this changing pattern of movements shows that the brain and nervous system are developing well. Sometimes, however, the brain and nervous system don’t develop normally, and this can indicate they baby may be at risk of developmental disorders.
We currently are unable to reliably identify difficulties at such a young age. Predicting learning difficulties early means we can give the babies the best possible start to life by offering early intervention and support when their brain is developing rapidly.
Benefits to families
Participants will receive an early screening for risk of cerebral palsy through the 12 -14 week video assessment, and a full developmental assessment of your baby when he/she is two years old. Should any concerns be identified at either assessment, you will receive the best care and support to address these concerns. By being part of this study, you and your child could also be involved in an important scientific advance.
Who is carrying out the study?
The Early Moves study is being led by Dr Jane Valentine, Prof Catherine Elliott and Dr Alison Salt from the Kids Rehabilitation Department at Perth Children’s Hospital. The study also involves ORIGINS Project investigators Prof Susan Prescott and Prof Desiree Silva from the Telethon Kids Institute, Joondalup Health Campus, Curtin University, the University of Western Australia and the Australasian Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials Network Centre for Research Excellence.
The Early Moves study will be recruiting participants soon.