Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect an individual’s motor skills. This includes their ability to move, maintain a posture or even talk. Commonly referred to as CP, cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability among children. In fact, about 1 in 345 children suffer from some form of CP.
The Development of Cerebral Palsy
CP is commonly caused by neurological damage to the brain either during birth or before it. While there is no one exact cause, the following list states common reasons for brain damage during these periods:
- Being born too small
- Being born too early
- Suffering an infection during pregnancy
- Having complications during birth
Subsequently, CP is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 0 and 2 based on the following symptoms:
- The baby’s head falls back when picked up
- The baby cannot bring his or her hands together
- The baby has difficulty bringing his or her hands to the mouth
- The baby crawls in a lopsided manner
Choosing The Right Mobility Aid Tools For CP
Mobility aids can be a critical intervention role for CP when used during the development years. As such, it is critical that parents get professional advice on which mobility aids to use for their child.
Wheelchairs and Power Scooters
Wheelchairs and power scooters are used by people with CP who are unable to support themselves while standing. However in return, the individual would require mobility in their upper body to operate the mobility aid.
We recommend to allow your child to experience working with other mobility aids before falling back onto wheelchairs or power scooters. During their development years, the brain can the most room to grow and develop. As such, starting children off on mobility aids that demand adaptation from them could be beneficial.
Standers are a niche mobility aid device that allow people with cerebral palsy to stand for extended periods of time. In simple terms, they support a person’s weight and provide stability to empower them to remain in a upright position.
Standers help to improve their muscle and bone strength without requiring to them exert a large amount of force. As such, we recommend their usage in the early stages of development and to be used as a stepping stone.
Gait trainers function fundamentally different from other mobility aids in this list. Rather than aiding the user in his or her daily activities, gait trainers are solely used in physiotherapy sessions by CP specialists.
Gait trainers are frames with wheels that help improve a user’s gait. However, its setup makes it impractical for daily usage.
Walkers remain the go to device for daily activities for most people with CP. Walkers bring about the benefit of being both mobile and beneficial to training its user’s motor skills. However, they often lack the customization options of gait trainers and thus force the user to maintain a singular posture or movement.
Gait Trainer Walkers
The Gait trainer walker combines the benefits of the gait trainer, stander and walker -by providing the frame a walker with the wheels of a gait trainer and an adjustable seat.In doing so, a user can now train his or her standing posture, use it to correct gait and have it for daily usage outside of a medical facility.