Why are we doing this study?
Babies learn about their world by interacting with it through movement to play and interact socially. Research is starting to show that the way in which babies can control their bodies affects how they think, play, solve problems and interact with their parents. The START-Play research program will test a new kind of therapy which targets the development of thinking abilities, as well as movement skills (or “motor skills”). We want to compare this new kind of therapy with the kind of care babies would usually get in their community.
We want to investigate:
- How do babies with motor delays develop motor skills?
- How do babies with motor delays develop thinking abilities?
- How does the new START-Play therapy affect babies with motor delays differently, than the care usually offered to babies with motor delays?
We are specifically interested in these motor skills: sitting, mobility, reaching, head control, and control of the arms, legs and hands.
We are specifically interested in these thinking abilities: problem-solving, object properties, toy play, social interactions, and language.
What would my baby and I have to do to participate in this study?
There are two parts to participation: intervention and assessment.
Any babies that participate in our research will be randomly assigned to either our “usual care” intervention group or our “START-Play” intervention group.
- Usual care group: Your baby would go to any therapy services they would usually receive.
- START-Play group: In addition to the usual care your baby would receive in the community, a START-Play therapist would do therapy at your home 2x per week for 12 weeks.
All infants and parents will participate in play-based assessments at your house. A trained assessor would assess your baby’s development at your house across 5 visits.