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Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children | Profs. Jane Valentine and Catherine Elliot


Early intervention is critical to treating neurodevelopmental disorders, like cerebral palsy. But just how early can we diagnose them?

In this episode, Jessica is joined by Professors Jane Valentine and Catherine Elliott, whose international Early Moves project is able to diagnose children with cerebral palsy as early as three months of age. 

Together, they discuss examples of neurodevelopmental disorders, the progress made in early diagnosis and treatment, and the role that Early Moves is playing, as the largest trial in the world identifying early biomarkers for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Early Moves is a research study led by Curtin University and Perth Children’s Hospital in partnership with the ORIGINS project, in Western Australia. It receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Telethon 7 Trust, The Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Western Australia Child Research Fund, Mineral Resources Limited and Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.

  • Examining neurodevelopmental disorders [01:12]
  • Tapping into a child’s peak period of neuroplasticity [04:32]
  • What is the Early Moves project? [06:40]
  • Role of parents and how they’re supported [09:55] 
  • Next steps for the research [13:09]
  • How did Professors Valentine and Elliott come to work on the project? [14:45]

Learn more

Connect with our guests

Professor Jane Valentine is a Senior Consultant Paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital, Head of Research at Kids Rehab WA and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute.

She is part of the international team that published the international guidelines for the early detection of cerebral palsy and the International Clinical Practice Guideline Based on Systematic Reviews, for early intervention for children with or at risk of cerebal palsy.  


Professor Catherine Elliott is the Director of Research at the Telethon Kids Institute and a researcher in Curtin University’s School of Allied Health. 

Her research focuses on improving the outcomes for babies and children who have neurological impairment. The National Health and Medical Research Council is supporting her research to explore early indicators of cognitive impairment in babies younger than three months old.

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This podcast is brought to you by Curtin University. Curtin is a global university known for its commitment to making positive change happen through high-impact research, strong industry partnerships and practical teaching.

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Behind the scenes

This episode came to fruition thanks to the combined efforts of:

Jessica Morrison, Host

Jarrad Long, Executive Producer

Annabelle Fouchard, Producer

Karen Green, Episode Researcher 

Daniel Jauk, Episode Editor

Alexandra Eftos, Recordist and Assistant Producer

Amy Hosking, Social Media.


Curtin University supports academic freedom of speech. The views expressed in The Future Of podcast may not reflect those of Curtin University.

Music: OKAY by 13ounce Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 Music promoted by Audio Library.