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Adaptive Equipment For Cerebral Palsy
Parents of children with cerebral palsy are no strangers to the use of adaptive equipment Ė itís needed on a regular basis to help special needs kids with mobility and other challenges. In addition to a loving support system and devoted family and caregivers, adaptive equipment is an important part of raising a child with cerebral palsy.
Children with cerebral palsy have muscle problems, so the most common type of adaptive equipment put to use is designed to help them move from one place to another and carry out normal activities.
For instance, for children who canít walk a wheelchair is a necessary piece of equipment. A wheelchair is ideal if you want your child to enjoy the freedom of being able to move around unaided. Many kids who lack the ability to walk can still use their arms to roll the wheels of the chair without any assistance, and find it quite easy to move themselves around without any extra help. If this is not possible, however, motorized wheelchairs are on the market that allows a child to move around independently without use of the arms. A motor attached to the wheelchair moves it around for the child. A child can control the wheelchair with the use of a joystick attached to one of the arm rests.
A walker is another piece of adaptive equipment for children with cerebral palsy Ė itís usually made out of light metal and has four adjustable legs. A walker helps kids with cerebral palsy who are capable of walking but suffer from poor balance. Itís the perfect way for a child to be mobile without as much risk of falling and becoming hurt. Walkers provide balance and freedom of movement without the restraints associated with the use of a wheelchair. Some walkers even come with wheels and a basket to hold belongings.
Children with cerebral palsy oftentimes have trouble with fine motor skills. As a result, using utensils can be difficult. Luckily, special handles and grips are available that make it possible for kids to hold onto small items, including forks and spoons. Some companies even manufacture actual eating utensils designed for people with fine motor problems. These are curved or bent to make them easier to use. Pencils and pens may come with grips and handles to make them easier to hold and employ.
Sometimes communication can also be a problem with cerebral palsy. For kids who are difficult to understand (and have trouble talking and communicating with those around them) communication aids come in handy. Books and posters with pictures may allow a child with cerebral palsy to point out objects they want. In the same vein, an alphabet board can assist children by allowing them to spell out messages. A computer device that talks for the child is another way for parents to open up new avenues of communication.
The adaptive equipment you require will depend on your childís specific needs. Your physician and other caregivers in your childís life should be able to help you discover what tools have the potential to work best in your situation.
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