Sitting Postural Control Affects the Development of Focused Attention in Children With Cerebral Palsy

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Purpose:To investigate whether focused attention (FA) changes over time as sitting postural control improves and whether an impairment in sitting postural control affects the development of FA in children with cerebral palsy (CP).Methods:Nineteen children with CP, mean ages 21.47 months, were assessed for FA and sitting scores pre- and postintervention.Results:Longest, total, and global FA increased and frequency of FA decreased in children who achieved independent sitting. However, children who achieved mobility postintervention exhibited a decrease in longest FA and an increase in frequency of FA.Conclusion:Sitting postural control and the development of FA appear associated in children with CP. The increase in FA may signal a key opportunity for learning and attending to objects. However, the time of early mobility may interrupt these long periods of attention, resulting in less sustained attention to objects.

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