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Adaptive Dining Utensils and Dishware

People with cerebral palsy and other conditions that affect motor control often struggle to use traditional dining utensils and dishware. Spastic reflexes, as well as issues with strength, range of motion, and dexterity can make it difficult to eat and drink without spilling. Some people with motor impairments require assistance from others at mealtimes. Adaptive/assistive…

Cerebral Palsy: Environmental and Genetic Factors

Cerebral palsy is a diagnosis that varies in type and severity of neurodevelopmental outcomes. People with cerebral palsy have impaired motor function, and in some cases also have cognitive disabilities. Cerebral palsy can be caused by environmental and/or genetic factors. Environmental Causes of Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy can often be attributed to something that goes…

What Is an Orthosis?

An orthosis is a type of brace or other wearable device that serves one or more of the following purposes: Improvement of mobility Immobilization of an injured body part to promote healing Correction of biomechanical misalignments Prevention of injuries Reduction of weight bearing and pain Some orthotic devices are relatively inexpensive, over-the-counter products: examples include…

Antenatal Magnesium Sulfate Prevents Cerebral Palsy in Preterm Infants

Premature babies have lower survival rates than full-term infants, and those that survive have an increased chance of developing lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy. During the birthing process, their fragile bodies are highly susceptible to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation) and other injuries. Even if they make it through the birthing…

VocaliD: Creating Unique Voices for Nonverbal People

There are many forms of adaptive technology that give voices to non-verbal people. Famously, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is able to talk by moving only one muscle in his cheek. He has an infrared sensor on his glasses that can pick up on muscle movement; this is connected to a computer with advanced word prediction…

Hypothermia Therapy Shortly After Birth Reduces Risk of Epilepsy

Babies that have sustained oxygen-depriving injuries (perinatal asphyxia) during the birthing process can benefit greatly from prompt administration of hypothermia therapy. Cooling an injured newborn to a below-normal temperature can give brain cells a chance to repair themselves, which stops the damage from spreading and becoming permanent. Hypothermia therapy can prevent or decrease the severity…

Dental Care for Children with Disabilities

For many parents of children with disabilities, pediatric dental care may be low on their list of concerns. However, children with disabilities are almost twice as likely to develop oral health problems. This is not simply a result of parental distraction – a variety of physical, behavioral, and emotional conditions can play a role (1)….