How do children with early brain damage perform in the Danish school system?

​School performance and cognitive abilities among children with cerebral palsy in relation to different risk factors.

A research project by Signe Vandal Pedersen

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term for motoric disabilities due to early brain damage and it is the most common cause of early lifelong disabilities. CP is characterized by a continuum of subtypes with varying clinical manifestations and severities of motor impairment.

The diversity in the clinical presentation of children with CP indicates a heterogeneous group of children with different needs of support. Several efforts have improved the motor disabilities among children with CP, however, knowledge about whether the cognitive impairment shows a similar decline in severity is still missing.

The aim of this study is to analyze school performance of students with CP providing knowledge to improve their education and quality of life. Potentially, it will have an impact on the children and their relatives as well as the society with the potential for political intervention by improving their circumstances in school. It will contribute to our understanding of the association between CP and cognitive abilities.

The study will be integrated into the Clinic for Cerebral Palsy at the University Hospital, Rigshospitalet. The analyses aim to provide knowledge about the influence of different risk factors on school difficulties with a potential improvement of the support of children with CP within the framework of mainstream school. If the study continues to document school difficulties, it can encourage the implementation of an obligatory cognitive evaluation of children with CP.

Responsible editor