Publicaties 2010

Early numeracy in cerebral palsy: Review and future directions


Children with cerebral palsy (CP) often have problems with arithmetic, but the development of numerical abilities in these children has received only minor attention. In comparison, detailed accounts have been written on the arithmetic abilities of typically developing children, but a theoretical framework is still lacking. A promising perspective is the embodied cognition framework, which focuses on the influence of perception and action behaviours on cognition. We searched the literature to find the available studies on the early numeracy capacities of children with CP. We reviewed eight studies in which primary school-aged children with CP with a verbal IQ of at least 70 participated. The selected studies showed that these children are regularly delayed in performing simple arithmetic operations compared with their typically developing peers. However, owing to the limited number of studies no definite conclusions can be drawn regarding the precursors and developmental trajectories of arithmetic abilities in children with CP. We argue that the embodied cognition framework is well suited to scrutinize the arithmetic abilities of children with CP and provide future directions for research.