Development in children with achondroplasia: a prospective clinical cohort study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Jun;54(6):532-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04234.x. Epub 2012 Mar 12.


Aim: Achondroplasia is characterized by delays in the development of communication and motor skills. While previously reported developmental profiles exist across gross motor, fine motor, feeding, and communication skills, there has been no prospective study of development across multiple areas simultaneously.

Method: This Australasian population-based study utilized a prospective questionnaire to quantify developmental data for skills in children born from 2000 to 2009. Forty-eight families from Australia and New Zealand were asked to report every 3 months on their child's attainment of 41 milestones. Results include reference to previously available prospective information.

Results: Information from questionnaires was used to develop an achondroplasia-specific developmental recording form. The 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th centiles were plotted to offer clear guidelines for development across gross motor, fine motor, feeding, and communication skills in children with achondroplasia.

Interpretations: Consistent with results from previous research, children with achondroplasia are delayed in development of gross motor and ambulatory skills. Young children with achondroplasia demonstrate a number of unique movement strategies that appear compensatory for the biomechanical changes. While delays were seen in development of later communication items, there were fewer delays seen across development of early communication, fine motor, and feeding skills.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achondroplasia / complications*
  • Achondroplasia / epidemiology
  • Australia
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community Health Planning
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications*
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • New Zealand
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires