Adaptive Equipment for Children with Cerebral Palsy

When your child has cerebral palsy, there are a number of accommodations that you need to make to make your child more comfortable. After all, cerebral palsy is a disability that affects the way that someone handles gross and fine motor skills, but also how they navigate through simple tasks such as walking, eating, and learning.

Nosey Cups

Since eating can be difficult for children with cerebral palsy, a nosey cup makes drinking a little easier. Whether you are assisting your child in drinking from this cup or if your child is attempting to drink without assistance, the nosey cup is ergonomically designed to keep your child from spilling too much. With a curved segment cut from the lip of the cup, the tilting ratio isn’t as extreme, removing the frequency of spills.

Soft Shell Helmet

Some pediatricians recommend a helmet for children with cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy often have problems with balance and coordination, so when they’re walking with a walker or with an assistant, a soft shell helmet can be worn to protect their head in case they fall. Explaining to children that this helmet is just like a helmet that you’d wear when riding a bike or on roller blades helps the child to recognize that they are doing something active “just like other kids.”

Brace, or Wrist and Thumb Positioning System

If your child is in school and has a hard time keeping his or her wrist straight while trying to write, you might consider a brace to limit the spasticity of his or her movements. One such brace is called a Wrist and Thumb Positioning System, a way of keeping your child’s arm and wrist straight so that he or she can focus on writing.

TheraThogs and Vests

Vests are great for kids with cerebral palsy as they keep your child’s body in proper alignment. Vests aren’t the only things that do that, though: TheraThogs are a kind of shape wear that help to promote circulation and flexibility. Some TheraThogs –such as the Lower Extremity Orthotic System- helps to keep alignment with joints and limbs. These might primarily be recommended by occupational therapists.

Wheels

If your child has cerebral palsy and has trouble moving around, you might consider wheels to make him or her more mobile. Roller racers are low to the ground and primarily intended for play. Walkers and tricycles are great for assisting with children who are trying to move independent of a wheelchair.

Wheelchairs –both motorized and nonmotorized- are options for children with cerebral palsy to move around the easiest. Some wheelchairs –called seating systems- involve components that move it forward and backward, but also up and down so that the child can work at several different writing spaces without having to change chairs. Systems like this keep the child as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.