Rehabilitation of developmental disorders and motor dysfunction

Nicole Rinehart, Rachael McDonald, Chloe Stanley-Cary, Jennifer L McGinley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


The majority of childhood-onset developmental and psychiatric disorders involve motor disturbances that may appear as a ?developmental vulnerability.? These include motor delays related to genetic or pathogenic care, frank movement disorders (e.g. ataxic gait seen in Rett?s disorder, cerebral palsy), or behavioral abnormalities involving movement (e.g. repetitive and stereotypical movements present in a number of pervasive developmental disorders). For each child the severity of motor disturbances ranges from mild to profound depending on the neurodevelopmental complexity, disorder co-morbidities, and the degree of intellectual impairment. Movement disorders that occur in a developmental context may change over time and can be difficult to define. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the main developmental disorders that involve motor dysfunction, focusing on autism in children. Autism is one of the most distressing disorders of childhood, impairing social, communicative, behavioral, and motor functioning. The clinical comorbidity of autism, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disability will be used to highlight and explore: (1) the overlap between neurological and psychiatric disorders which involve motor dysfunction, and (2) the need for multidisciplinary approaches to assessment and management, which take into consideration careful assessment of cognitive, motor, psychiatric, and social factors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRehabilitation in Movement Disorders
EditorsRobert Iansek, Meg E Morris
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781107014008
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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