The relationship between oral-motor involvement and growth: a pilot study in a pediatric population with cerebral palsy

J Am Diet Assoc. 1984 May;84(5):555-9.


Growth retardation in the pediatric cerebral palsy population has been well documented in the literature. No attempt had been made to examine the extent to which this growth retardation is affected by the presence or absence of oral-motor dysfunction. In our retrospective pilot study, the growth of 12 children (8 girls, 4 boys) with cerebral palsy and oral-motor impairment was compared with the growth of an age- and sex-matched control group of 12 children with cerebral palsy but no oral-motor impairment. The growth parameters examined were weight for age, height for age, and weight for height. Data analysis used both the actual measurements and Z scores. Comparisons were made not only between groups but also with NCHS standards at the 50th percentile for specific age and sex. Results indicated that children with oral-motor impairment had depressed weight for age (Z score, p = .002) and height (Z score, p = .049) and depressed height for age (Z score, p = .055). These results suggest a previously undocumented relationship between oral-motor impairment and growth retardation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mouth / physiopathology*