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Functional Gaze Control in Young Children with Cerebral Palsy

Young children with severe physical disabilities who have little or no functional speech can rely almost entirely on their looking skills to engage with the world around them, interact with others and learn.

Observation of these children's spontaneous and responsive gaze behaviours can be an effective way of assessing understanding of language, learning and participation in activities.

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However, for observation of gaze behaviour to be of clinical value as an indicator of performance, clinicians first need to determine the child's core repertoire of functional gaze control skills.

Assessment of Functional Gaze Control

The following assessment procedures have been designed to assess just such gaze control abilities in children who have:

•  cerebral palsy affecting the whole body;

•  little or no functional speech;

•  a developmental age of approximately 12 months to 6 years;

•  visual acuity ranging from normal to poor.

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Establishing a shared understanding of the profile of children's functional gaze control skills will support clinicians and families to develop a shared expectations for children's current behaviour while delivering appropriate individualised intervention to support skills development. 

The assessment procedures are freely available to clinicians and families. We simply ask that you notify the Functional Gaze Control team to register your interest in and/or use of these assessment procedures.

We are extremely grateful to  Sparks and The Rooney Foundation for supporting the development of these assessment procedures. 

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Page last modified on 01 jul 14 12:02 by Michael T Clarke