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Welcome to Cerebral Palsy:
Simple Notes on a Complex Problem

Adaptive Equipment

If your child has limited movements in his arms or legs there is a risk of complications ranging from pressure sores to permanent immobility. It is important to give your child every opportunity to explore and move within his environment. Adaptive equipment such as a wheelchair, walker or standing frame is available to aid your child in sitting, standing or moving more comfortably. An Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist can evaluate your child and make appropriate recommendations. Adaptive equipment can be expensive, but it is worthwhile to seek consultation and invest in something appropriate for your child.
Positioning needs to be considered for 24 hours a day, especially in the more severely affected child. A positioning program to tailored to your child's needs can be designed by your child's therapist.

Basic Equipment

  • Standing Frame. To assist your child in standing upright, to help stretch muscles, to maintain range of motion, help standing endurance, and strengthen trunk and neck muscles. Variety of standing frames are available: prone stander/Talia prone board, upright standing frame.
  • Buggy. Usually purchased from a specialized company. More lightweight than a wheelchair, but child will need to be pushed.
  • Wheelchair. A variety of sporty wheelchairs, electric and manual, are available to children and can be sized for a child as young as 18 months.
  • Tumbleform. A name brand, specialized seating system offering a variety of pre-molded, pre-frabricated equipment for sitting, standing and lying.
  • Prone Trolley. Prefabricated or customized to assist a child in crawling.
  • Walking Frame. These can be standard or rolling and provide support for the child who is able to stand but needs stability for walking or mobilizing.

It is highly advisable to refer to a trained professional for recommendations or purchase of any equipment. It is worth noting that some equipment purchased in toy stores can be equally effective and therapeutic.

For more detailed information on positioning and adaptive equipment refer to a book titled "Handling the Young Cerebral Palsied Child At Home" by Nancie Finnie FCSP.

The Bobath Centre, is a renowned and highly respected institute training Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists in a neurodevelopmental approach for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy. Until they are online, more information can be obtained by contacting : The Bobath Centre 250 Eastend Road, East Finchley, London N2 8AU

Read an inspirational letter from our feedback file, from Carla MacInnis Rockwell, who describes the importance of early intervention and parent participation.