Equipment for Cerebral Palsy
Once a child receives a diagnosis, caregivers and doctors can work together to find out what the child can use to be able to live as normal of a life as possible. A variety of equipment is available that can assist with a variety of issues, such as mobility, balance, and communication. Many devices also help strengthen muscles and correct minor issues. Learn more about the different types of cerebral palsy equipment that can help your child live a more normal life.
After receiving a cerebral palsy diagnosis, we understand how you’d want to find equipment for your child to use that will allow them to function to their fullest potential. There are a number of adaptive devices to help with daily living activities, including those for mobility, hearing, and more.
Especially if a child’s case isn’t severe, orthopedic equipment may help your child correct an affected part of their body enough to function almost completely normally. For example, a child with CP can wear orthopedic shoes or inserts to correct a splayed walking pattern.
Children with CP who lack balance and have difficulty walking could benefit from orthotics, which are devices that a child wears to support their movements. While complete external leg braces are some of the most common orthotics, every child has different needs. Some other orthotic devices include those for the foot, knee, or spine. There are also orthotics that reinforce the connection between the ankle and foot or the knee and ankle.
Orthotics are helpful because they provide reinforcement to the part of a child’s body that either has limited function or a high amount of spasticity. The orthotic is something they wear to better perform basic functions, like walking and feeding.
There are a few wheelchair options available depending on the level of CP.
Children who can use their arms may benefit from a manual wheelchair that can offer some independence. There are also electric wheelchairs that smaller children and those with limited arm mobility to use. Depending on the CP severity, an electric wheelchair can include a manual joystick, a touchpad, or even gaze control.
Power tilt and reclining wheelchairs position your child’s body in a way that helps relieve pressure from the lower back and extremities, improve circulation, and allow them to reach for items easier. Standing wheelchairs, which allow children to interact with others at eye level, are also available.
Ceiling rails are a type of lift that allows a child with CP to use their own bodyweight to maneuver around a room. Tracks or rails are installed on the ceiling, and a child holds onto straps to move around the room. In severe cases of CP, a child can sit in a sling or cradle instead of using straps.
Adaptive toys are designed for children who struggle with fine motor skills. Handles, buttons, and other functional parts of a regular toy may have details that are simpler for a child with CP to use. Some adaptive toys for children with CP include:
- Building blocks
- Stacking cups
- Large swings shaped like rings
- Musical instruments
- Kinetic sand
- Sensory boards
There are a variety of adaptive bike designs available depending on the type and level of CP. Handcycles, tricycles, and recumbent bicycles are all options that allow children with CP to enjoy cycling while strengthening muscles and improving balance. Parents and caregivers can also opt for tandem bikes, which provide additional stability and support.
There are times when a child needs to lean forward with the support of a device. A prone stander provides this ability by supporting a child from the front. As with most devices for children with CP, parents adjust a prone stander to fit their child’s strength. Parents change the angle to allow their child to exert as much strength as they like.
A supine stander is similar to a prone stander, but instead of supporting a child from the front, a supine stander supports a child from the back. This stander may help a child to stand as straight as possible, or even lean back slightly depending on their comfort level and abilities. Many parents consider a supine stander if their child has difficulty controlling their head.
CP can affect a child’s facial muscles, making it harder for them to communicate. Augmentative communication devices allow a child to communicate their needs and thoughts through unconventional means. These devices include: Though equipment can greatly improve your child’s quality of life, some of it can be cost-prohibitive. If you think your child’s CP is the result of medical malpractice, you may have a case. Contact the Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC if you have legal questions.
Get Help For Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy
CP can affect a child’s facial muscles, making it harder for them to communicate. Augmentative communication devices allow a child to communicate their needs and thoughts through unconventional means. These devices include:
Though equipment can greatly improve your child’s quality of life, some of it can be cost-prohibitive. If you think your child’s CP is the result of medical malpractice, you may have a case. Contact the Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC if you have legal questions.