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The Best Adaptive Equipment for Cerebral Palsy

cerebral palsy adaptive equipment

Adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy patients helps increase mobility and activity.

Adaptive equipment may encourage children with cerebral palsy to interact with the world around them and realize that they’re capable of doing more things on their own.

Adaptive Equipment for Cerebral Palsy

Check out these 10 adaptive tools for individuals with cerebral palsy! They may help improve gross motor skills like walking and fine motor skills like writing or eating.

1. Wheelchair

kid in wheelchair apative equipment for cerebral palsy

Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulties walking due to spasticity in their hips and legs.

A wheelchair can help them improve their mobility and get around on their own.

Some people with cerebral palsy might have impaired motor control throughout their upper body, so a power wheelchair or power scooter will be ideal in cases of quadriplegia.

Working with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or assistive technology professional (ATP) can help you get a wheelchair personalized to an individual’s specific needs. This may include having specific cushion styles, positioning devices, and power functions, in addition to choosing from various colors and accessories.

2. Gait Trainer

gait trainer adaptive equipment for cp

A gait trainer will help children with cerebral palsy develop their walking skills.

Gait trainers can vary in design; some will come with a built-in harness to prevent falling while others will be designed for postural alignment and support from behind.

A gait trainer allows your child to practice bearing and shifting their body weight. This helps strengthen the muscles and bones and prevents them from atrophying. A gait trainer can also help prevent the development of leg contractures.

3. Universal Cuff

adaptive tools for cerebral palsy

Universal cuffs are extremely versatile and will definitely help children who struggle with their fine motor skills.

They can be attached to objects like toothbrushes, utensils, and pencils. They create a handle or larger grip so that the object is easier to hold.

A universal cuff will help promote children’s independence by encouraging them to practice more tasks on their own. Using universal cuffs can also help children with cerebral palsy express themselves creatively, as they can be attached to crayons, markers, or paintbrushes.

Find universal cuffs on Amazon »

4. Communication Boards

communication board adaptive tools for cp

Some children with cerebral palsy may have speech impairments.

Don’t mistake a speech impairment with an intellectual disability. Many children with speech impairments are very intelligent; they just lack motor control over their oral muscles.

A communication board will promote better speech and language skills by combining sounds with a visual aid.

Generally, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) will teach your child how to use one. An SLP can also design personalized communication boards for specific situations and interests a child may have.

Check out the video below for an example of how communication boards work.

Find communication boards on Amazon »

5. Adaptive Utensils

adaptive utensils for cerebral palsyadaptive tools for cp

Adaptive utensils will encourage children to eat on their own.

There are many different types of adaptive utensils for varying levels of motor impairments.

Some adaptive utensils will have larger grips so that the handles are easier to hold.

Some might be bent to a certain angle for children who have difficulties bending their wrists.

Others may have handles or straps that wrap around the arm to prevent being dropped.

Find adaptive tools on Amazon »

6. Nosey Cup

nosey cups for cerebral palsy patients

Another adaptive tool that will make feeding children with cerebral palsy easier is a nosey cup.

It’s designed to keep your child from spilling while drinking.

The curve in the top of the cup allows space for your child’s nose, so they can lift the cup to drink without tilting their head as much.

Find nosey cups on Amazon »

7. Leg Lifter

leg lifter adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy

Children with severe motor impairments in their legs but normal upper body control may benefit from using a leg lifter.

They make transferring in and out of wheelchairs much easier.

All your child has to do is place one foot inside the loop and pull the other side of the rope with their arms in order to move their leg where they want it to go.

Find leg lifters on Amazon »

8. Braces

arm brace adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy

Braces can help keep the body aligned and limit spasticity. They’re available for the neck, torso, arms, and legs.

Braces promote proper positioning to prevent developmental deformities or contractures caused by spasticity and help prevent uncontrollable movements.

They also build strength and gently stretch tight muscles, even when your child is sedentary.

9. Standing Frame

standing adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy

A standing aid will help children with cerebral palsy develop strength in their legs by bearing their own weight.

Standing aids also help promote postural symmetry, circulation to the lower extremities, and muscle endurance so children won’t tire out so quickly.

Slowly but surely, children may learn to stabilize themselves in an upright position, which brings them one step closer to standing on their own.

Find standing frames on Amazon »

10. Bath Chairs

bath chair adaptive equipment for children with cp

Kids with CP may find it difficult to sit upright in the bathtub because of poor balance skills and the slippery environment.

A bath chair will help children stay in place during their baths and provide additional neck and back support.

Find bath chairs on Amazon »

Using Adaptive Tools for Cerebral Palsy

Keep in mind that the purpose of adaptive equipment for cerebral palsy is to encourage your child to be more active and try things on their own.

They should be developing their gross and fine motor skills with the goal of no longer needing adaptive equipment.

The brain’s ability to adapt (neuroplasticity) is promoted through repetition. Therefore, the more your child practices developing these new skills, the easier they will become.

Children’s brains are very malleable and are capable of learning new skills faster than adult brains.

Once your child gets comfortable using adaptive tools, find a more challenging alternative or have them try the task without the tool.

By activating neuroplasticity through repetitive stimulation, the brain can rewire itself and learn functions affected by damaged areas of the brain.

Hopefully, this article helped you discover some new adaptive equipment for individuals with cerebral palsy and better understand the purpose behind them. Good luck!

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You’re on a Roll: Discover a home exercise program for CP that’s actually fun to do!

adult with cerebral palsy smiling while using FitMi home therapy

Finally! There’s a recovery device for CP that’s actually fun to use. See how Flint Rehab’s tools are helping with CP recovery:

“The FitMi and MusicGlove have done wonders for my son with hemiparesis from cerebral palsy and stroke.

It motivates him to do his exercises. It does not seem like therapy for him since it is fun. It monitors his progress so it is a great reinforcement for him.

Music is a motivator for him. He has been using it on his arm and we will try the leg exercises soon.”

FitMi works by motivating high repetition of therapeutic exercises while playing an engaging game. This gamification has been particularly great for motivating individuals with cerebral palsy to recover.

To see how FitMi works, click the button below:

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More Ways to Recover with Flint Rehab:

Free CP Tips Ebook

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Discover Award-Winning Neurorehab Tools