Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic “palsies” that impairs control of movement due to damage to the developing brain. It is nonprogressive but the symptoms brought about by the damage may get better or worse over time.
Between 35% and 50% of children with this chronic childhood disability experiences seizure, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and vision, speech, hearing, or language problems. Infections, birth injuries, and poor oxygen supply to the brain before, during, and immediately after birth are its common factors. Assistive Technology (AT) would therefore allow accessibility to CP patients regardless of their abilities on a daily basis.
For those who cannot speak because of muscle spasms in their mouth, throat and tongue, there are the augmentative alternative communication (AAC) devices such as signs, letters, pictures, and even a voice. The Bright Hub Education, a content site that focuses on education, suggests the use of large markers or paint brushes for those with spastic CP. The Steady Write Writing Instrument, on the other hand, can help in controlling shaky handwriting.
Since CP may cause tightness in the muscles of hips and legs, wheelchairs could lessen difficulty in walking. One of the variety of wheelchairs manufactured by Convaid is a chair with 30-fixed tilt, headrest, and h-harness that can support those with weak trunk muscles. Adaptive tricycles are also now available since it has been found that therapeutic cycling can improve respiration, head and trunk control, strength of the anti-gravity muscles, coordination of the eyes and hands, and self-esteem.
Stool scooters can promote stability. Stair glides and elevators can let individuals with CP travel up and down the stairs with independence, safety and ease. Mechanical lifts can also transport the latter into a bathtub, wheelchair or bed.
“We know that equality of individual ability has never existed and never will, but we do insist that equality of opportunity still must be sought.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance