Special needs children who require therapy need the proper equipment in order to maximize the efficacy of their therapy. A child’s smaller body may not reap all the benefits that a therapy program could provide by using adaptive technology designed for adults. This is why equipment that is specifically designed for a child is preferred. Not only can this aid in the proper therapy a child needs, but it can also keep the child motivated and therefore increase adherence to any therapy program, not to mention improvement in any area prescribed by your therapist.
Many special needs children require some form of physical/occupational therapy to overcome a physical handicap. Using equipment that is designed for adults may result in an inefficient therapy program which can lead to the child being unhappy and therefore being noncompliant to their program. Occupational/physical therapists will use a tailor-made exercise program for a multitude of reasons that include:
The best way to maximize any therapy program is to use equipment specifically designed to fit the smaller body size of pediatric therapy patients. Therapists will use exercises and activities specifically designed to target strength, motor skill learning, balance and coordination, and movement/mobility as well as other indications for therapy. Many developmental disorders can hinder a child’s development and therefore will benefit from a program designed to improve crawling, walking, running, and other physical interactions.
If you were doing a home improvement job, you would want to use the right tool for the task at hand. The same goes for therapy. For a pediatric exercise/therapy program, using equipment specifically designed for children can be critical. Your child’s physical handicap or limitation will dictate the type of equipment his or her therapist will use. Adaptive equipment such as orthotics or pediatric wheelchairs can benefit from a therapist instructing the user on how to use it properly in any environment. Many times therapist will help not only the child, but family members on how to incorporate play into therapy. The use of a foam wedge can be utilized in many pediatric therapy programs to provide dynamic therapy and proper positioning. To help with balance or vestibular problems, a rolling barrel can be utilized with the child on top or in the latex free barrel. Many therapies that focus on balance can benefit from the use of a balance board. One specific feature that parents or therapists may want to look for is recessed sides. One great example of this benefit to avoid pinching fingers can be found on the Tumble Forms 2 Soft Top Rocker Balance. No need to have a setback due to pinched little piggies!!
Sometimes in pediatric therapy or exercise there can be a focus on sitting. Whether it’s on the floor or in a chair, sometimes pediatric patients require assistance. The use of a floor sitter can help develop trunk stability and improved posture not to mention improved upper body strength. A sitter can even incorporate mobility (such as the Tumble Forms 2 Mobile Floor Sitter Chair) to help those children who may not be able to ambulate, but can still mobilize and improve lower extremity strength by moving themselves around. Every little bit helps!! One great advantage of using a seating aid is easier feeding. Our digestive system works better in an upright position. By using a feeder seat a child can get in and out easily and allows for good basic positioning without any complicated adjustments. The true benefit of any seating system is to improve pelvic positioning in order to allow for proper alignment. We may take sitting for granted, but it’s important to get it right.
Pediatric therapy can be wide-ranging and specific, but it requires proper equipment. Many of the needs and equipment used in clinical situations can be incorporated into the home. The key to success of any therapy/exercise program is compliance. Sticking to the plan will lead to a higher rate of success and improved functionality as well as quality of life!!
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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