Adaptive Devices for Cerebral Palsy


Children with cerebral palsy face unique challenges in daily tasks, but adaptive equipment devices may make completing daily activities more manageable. Technology and other devices are available to assist with self-care activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming, and feeding, while adaptive toys offer body awareness and ways to interact with others and have fun.

Benefits of Using Assistive Devices for Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy may experience a variety of challenges, such as problems with walking, hearing, and communication. Mobility and muscle issues may make tasks such as sitting, dressing, and even using a pencil challenging. Disabilities could range from mild to severe and impact quality of life and independence as well as physical, emotional, and social health.

Assistive technology and adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy offer a range of opportunities to improve your child’s daily life and sense of wellbeing. Using assistive devices for cerebral palsy may provide benefits for your child, including:

  • Greater ability to express emotions
  • Greater inclusion in recreation and other activities
  • Enhanced academic performance
  • Improved communication
  • Stronger self-confidence
  • Increased self-sufficiency and independence
  • More engaged social life

Assistive Technology for Cerebral Palsy Mobility Issues

Though symptoms vary from person to person, most children living with CP experience some degree of mobility limitations. While low-tech aids such as non-electric wheelchairs and walkers may be helpful for some children, others may need devices with more assistive technology for cerebral palsy. Assistive technology for mobility includes:

  • Electric wheelchairs: Children who have difficulties using their hands and arms can gain increased mobility through an electric wheelchair equipped with a joystick or button control.
  • Lifts: Lifts may help a child move between floors in your home, into and out of vehicles, and between sitting and standing positions.
  • Power scooters: Power scooters can offer more mobility options.

Assistive Devices for Cerebral Palsy Communication Issues

Communication may be difficult for many children with CP. Cerebral palsy could cause problems with muscles in the mouth and throat, making it difficult for your child to form words. Communication issues create a range of challenges, including:

  • Difficulties expressing needs and emotions
  • Difficulties engaging in social activities
  • Difficulties learning in school

A variety of assistive technology devices may improve your child’s ability to communicate. These devices include:

  • Electronic communication boards or low-tech communication boards for children who are too young or otherwise unable to use a more complex tablet device
  • Eye-tracking devices
  • Hearing aids
  • Speech-generating devices
  • Typing and writing devices

Daily Life Adaptive Equipment for Cerebral Palsy

Along with assistive technology to help children with CP with issues such as writing, hearing, and communicating, various adaptive tools exist to help with daily living activities. This equipment may make life easier, allowing your child to become more self-sufficient and independent. Devices include:

  • Adaptive scissors and other art supplies
  • Aids for positioning on beds, chairs, and couches
  • Bathroom equipment such as safety bars, bathing benches, and specialized toilet seats
  • Brushes and sponges with longer handles
  • Dressing aids
  • Eating equipment such as utensils that are weighted or include grips, and bowls and plates with non-slip bottoms
  • Key turners
  • Non-skid rugs
  • Tables that can be moved down and up

Adaptive Toys for Cerebral Palsy

Children with CP may have trouble playing with certain toys. However, you’ll find a range of toys adapted for children with special needs. Examples include:

  • Foam holders for sidewalk chalk that let a child draw while standing or sitting in a wheelchair
  • Jiggly Animals, cute plush animals that shake when a child squeezes them to increase body awareness
  • Low vision playing cards that make it easier for children with vision challenges to get in on fun games with family and friends
  • Vibrating devices, which can help strengthen the muscles and improve a child’s balance and stability

Adaptive switches for toys also offer added possibilities for play. Switch-adapted toys are modified to route original switches to a larger switch, making the toy easier to operate. Depending on your child’s challenges, new switches may include:

  • A button switch
  • A finger switch
  • A foot switch

Adaptive Clothing for Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulties taking clothing and shoes on and off. Additionally, using a wheelchair may make using regular coats and jackets more difficult, while braces may call for different footwear and socks. Various adaptive clothing exists, including:

  • Footwear and socks for children who use AFOs (ankle foot orthosis)
  • Clothing with button or Velcro closures
  • Outerwear for wheelchair users

Assistive technology and adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy may improve your child’s daily life, offering new ways to take on challenging daily tasks as well as engage with others. Though incredible advances in these devices have been made, cerebral palsy can still have a huge impact on children who have CP and their families, particularly if your child’s condition could have been avoided. The experienced Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC have helped families across the country to uncover the truth of medical malpractice and seek compensation. Contact us today and let us help you and your family.

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