Through secondary analyses of the Small Step. Randomized Control Trial, we tested the hypothesis that children at risk of developing cerebral palsy (CP) or other neurodevelopmental disorders would learn what they practice, i.e., that they would have a more rapid development within the specifically trained foci (hand use or mobility) of each time period compared to the development rate within the foci not trained at that time. Nineteen infants (6.3 (1.62) months corrected age) included in the Small Step program were assessed at six time points during the intervention. For statistical analysis, general and mixed linear models were used, and the independent variables were the Peabody Developmental Motor scale (stationary, locomotion, grasping and visuomotor sub scales), the Gross Motor Function Measure-66 and the Hand Assessment for Infants. Outcomes related to gross motor function improved significantly more after mobility training than after hand use training, while fine motor function was improved to the same extent following both training types. Significantly higher improvements after the first training period were seen in one out of three outcome measures in both gross and fine motor assessments. The improvements observed were all independent of diagnosis at two years. The concept “you learn what you practice” was most clearly confirmed in the case of gross motor development.
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