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Contributed by Alex Diaz-Granados, Chief Editor at Cerebral Palsy Guidance


Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that some children are born with due to brain malformation or damage. It is not progressive or curable, and the symptoms and severity vary from one child to the next. The condition largely affects movement and muscles, but can have wide-ranging complications from hearing loss to intellectual disability. Because there is no cure, many children with cerebral palsy can benefit from assistive technology, such as mobility aids.


The Limits of Treatment

There are many treatment options for cerebral palsy, and they vary depending on what a child’s symptoms or complications are. But there is no cure for the condition, so treatments are necessarily limited. For instance, surgery can be used to restore some mobility to a child with painful and stiff muscle tone, but she may still not be able to walk easily.


Another child with cerebral palsy may go through physical therapy to improve fine motor skills but still be unable to grip a pencil. When treatment for cerebral palsy has done as much as it can for a child, assistive technology can play an additional role in helping that child adapt to and thrive in the world.


Assistive Technology for Mobility

One of the most important types of assistive technology for children with cerebral palsy is for improving mobility. While every child with this condition has unique symptoms, nearly all have some degree or type of issue with mobility, from over-toned muscles to limited joint movement to involuntary or spastic muscle movements.


Some examples include walkers or canes to help with walking and stability, or wheelchairs for those children who really struggle to walk at all. Orthotics, or braces, can help a child walk more easily or move his hands or arms better. A child may also benefit from a scooter, an adaptive tricycle, a special car seat, a stair glide or mechanical lift, or even an adaptive vehicle.


Other Types of Assistive Technology

Children with cerebral palsy often have a variety of other symptoms and complications related to the condition but not to mobility and assistive devices can help. For instance, a child may have hearing loss and can benefit from hearing aids and other auditory technology. Assistive educational tools, such as writing implements or computers and mobile devices that are easier to use, are important in school. Communication tools can also be great assistive technology, as some children have speech difficulties.


Cerebral palsy comes with many different symptoms, some more severe than others. But children living with this condition can make use of a variety of assistive technologies that make moving, learning, communicating, and just getting involved and participating, much easier and more possible.


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