How Does SMA Affect Your Child’s Social Interactions?

Kids with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have a hard time with an evaluation method known as “pair-matching tests.”

They have a harder time identifying what number, letter, color, or object matches the other. Based on the study about SMA in the Neuromuscular Disorders journal, this could be linked to poor interactions with others.

For those who have SMA Type 1, symptoms begin prior to being six months. The prognosis is not good for those with Type 1. About 68% die before they are able to reach two years of age.

Sadly, 82% percent die before the before their fourth birthday. Those with SMA Type 1 who survive tend to have a hard time to communicating. They are not typically capable of speaking. They display problems with their motor control. Nevertheless, they are able to control their eye movements and retain their vision. This can be beneficial in helping them with communicating with others.

In the study, kids who have SMA Type 1 were compared to a control group with healthy children.

There was a significant difference between the pair-matching results. Those with Type 1 SMA didn’t perform as well as the control group and needed more time to finish tasks. It’s hypothesized that little ones who are better at engaging socially with their carers are probably introduced to more and different kinds of stimulation, particularly vision stimulation.  In general, the children with Type 1 had the most difficult time with matching number, figures, and letters.

Click here to read more about this study and how SMA Type 1 affects children.


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