Disadvantages on the field of executive functions in children with Cerebral Palsy

N. Zimonyi, Reka Kassai, G. Könczei, Zsofia K. Takacs

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

The life and future of children are fundamentally affected by primary school performance. Executive functions such as working memory, inhibitory control, planning and cognitive flexibility are more predictive of children’s learning outcomes than intelligence (Blair and Razza, 2007). Mapping the underlying factors of school performance are key in the planning of intervention programs aimed at school progress which is especially important in the goal-oriented teaching and education of children with need of special education.

The involvement of executive functions in cerebral palsy is not yet known exactly. As it seems based on the limited proof, children with cerebral palsy are more likely to have underdeveloped executive functions which contributes to their learning problems (Bottcher, Flachs, & Uldall, 2009; Jenks, de Moor, & van Lieshout, 2009). Accordingly, we hypothesized in the present study that children with cerebral palsy have less developed executive function skills compared to their typically developing peers. Furthermore, we aimed to investigate the size of their disadvantage and how much the different components of executive function skills are affected.

We recruited children with cerebral palsy and sufficient verbal skills in addition to age-matched typically developing children. 71 children with cerebral palsy between the ages of 8 and 16 years enrolled in special education participated in the present study, which is an exceptionally large sample compared to previous studies. 102 typically developing children recruited from a school showing average performance also partook in the study who were similar to the children with cerebral palsy based on age and gender. In two testing sessions we measured executive function skills of the children using several neuropsychological tests such as a Stroop-test, a Corsi block test, a Tower of London task, a Go/No-Go test, a digit span test and the Dimensional Change Card Sorting test.

The preliminary results show that there is a large difference in the executive functions of children with cerebral palsy and their typically developing peers. In our presentation we will discuss this discrepancy in detail and the practical implications of the present results.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2018
EventInternational Conference on Neuroeducation I - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 16 Nov 201817 Nov 2018
http://hatorszag.hu/conference_2018/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Neuroeducation I
Country/TerritoryHungary
CityBudapest
Period16/11/1817/11/18
Internet address

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