Peter L. Rosenbaum
Canada Research Chair in Childhood Disability Research, Dissemination and Mentoring
Tier 1 - 2001-01-01
905-525-9140 ext. 27834
Summarizing the latest research, and making new ideas about childhood disability available in plain language. Using a standard test to assess the gross motor skills of children with cerebral palsy.
Will help parents ensure their children have the latest access to new treatments or discoveries about the causes of childhood disabilities. Assisting advocates and physicians in ensuring that the latest research is put into practice.
Making it Plain: Explaining Research on Childhood Disability
When a parent is told that their child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, one of the first questions is often "How bad is it?" That's closely followed by "Will my child ever walk?"
Thanks to Peter Rosenbaum, healthcare professionals can now answer those questions with greater certainty. That's because Rosenbaum has developed a test called the Gross Motor Function Classification System, which describes the severity of cerebral palsy in ways families and service providers can understand. It is now being used in more than 20 countries around the world.
The award of this research chair will enable Rosenbaum and his colleagues to continue to follow children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities. One of the questions they will try to answer is whether young people with cerebral palsy lose motor skills once they reach puberty and adolesence. If true, therapists may be able to help young people regain their motor skills-but only if they know a problem exists.
Equally important is Rosenbaum's work at the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research. There, the pediatrician has created a program to make new ideas in childhood disability development accessible by distributing them to parents, caregivers, and policymakers in plain language. He writes parent-friendly reports on the results of each research study, as well as short summaries of current literature and ideas. The reports and summaries are posted on the CanChild Web page and published as a column in a leading journal about childhood disability.
Finally, few researchers are involved in the critical area Rosenbaum is studying-the well-being of parents of children with disabilities. This is a key study if policymakers are to understand the ramifications of placing additional stress on caregivers if services are unavailable, service providers are changed, services are poorly co-ordinated, or if they require long waiting times.
The results of all of these activities? Improvements in the quality of life for both parents and children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities.