CanChild awarded $1.7 million from U.S. National Institutes of Health for Study of Children with Disabilities


The U.S. National Institutes of Health have awarded $1.7 million to a Canadian research team led by the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University for a three-year study that will influence services and policy for children with disabilities.

The research will involve 650 children aged 6-14 years from eight
children's facilities across Ontario. The goals of the study are to
describe: the extent and nature of participation in everyday formal and informal activities of children with physical disabilities; changes in their participation as they grow older; and children's satisfaction with their participation.

The study also will examine the factors in children, their families
and environments that affect their overall level of participation,
and how the influence of these factors changes over time.

“For children, participation in day-to-day formal and informal
activities is a vital part of their development. It enables children to acquire the physical and social competencies needed to function and
flourish in their homes and communities,” said McMaster University
rehabilitation professor Mary Law of the CanChild Centre, who is co-leader of the research team along with Gillian King of the Thames Valley Children's Centre in London.

“Children with disabilities are clearly at risk for lower participation in ordinary daily activities, so childhood is the best time to understand the factors and processes at work. Such an understanding is critical to our ability to improve the personal and social well-being of children with disabilities and their families,” says Law.

The research team also includes Peter Rosenbaum (pediatrics), researcher Susanne King, and Steven Hanna (rehabilitation) from CanChild; Marilyn Kertoy, University of Western Ontario; Nancy Young, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

This study brings together a rich and unusual array of human, clinical
research and community resources to address questions of fundamental
importance to the life quality of children with disabilities.