Paediatric Rehabilitation Research Unit Ghent

Neurobiological developmental disorders

This research line focuses on children with developmental disorders such as autism, attention and motor disorders (ADHD, DCD).  These disorders are associated with lower physical fitness, decreased participation, reduced learning capacity and delayed motor development. Early diagnosis is crucial to prevent these problems and optimize the quality of life of children and their environment. 


Neurological disorders

This research line has a special focus on children with cerebral palsy (CP), with a focus on

risk analysis of neuromotor and cognitive outcomes in preterm infants, evidence-based medicine with a specific focus on strength training, quantitative measurements of muscle tone and muscle morphology and incontinence or other lower urinary tract symptoms.


Physical functioning

In this research topic we want to optimize the physical functioning of children with chronic internal diseases (cystic fibrosis, overweight and obesity, Turner syndrome, brain tumors). This aims to improve well-being, comorbidities and prognosis.  This is achieved by increasing physical activity and physical fitness and decreasing sedentary behaviour by changing the child's behaviour (and/or environment). We involve the patient population in the development of these interventions through co-creation. 


Vestibular research line

Vestibular dysfunctions in children have a significant impact on several (motor) developmental domains, causing delays in reaching important motor milestones. Later, children with vestibular dysfunctions may also experience problems at school (social-cognitive) or problems with social-emotional development. Therefore, early diagnosis is crucial, and the focus is on implementing vestibular (and motor) screening.


Research line Neurological communication disorders

A number of developmental and acquired disorders (dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, aphasia, dysarthria, dyspraxia) are associated with abnormal linguistic and speech-motor processing. Language testing using EEG is much more sensitive than classical pen and paper tasks. To emplement EEG in clinical uses, the impact of age, gender and cognitive influences (attention, switching,...) on language characteristics, as well as on discourse and spontaneous language use, in healthy developing children aged 6-12 years is investigated.


Tenured Academic Staff and Visiting Professors

Prof. dr. Lynn Bar-On

Prof. dr. Leen Maes

Prof. dr. Chris Van den Broeck

Prof. dr. MD Catharine Vander Linden

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Marieke Coussens

Dr. Bieke Samijn

Dr. MD Ruth Van der Looven

Predoctoral Researchers

Drs. Yana Criel

Drs. Oona Cromheecke

Drs. Amy De Roubaix

Drs. Babette Mooijekind

Drs. Jorn Ockerman

Drs. Ruth Van Hecke

Drs. Michelle Verhoeven