Monday, May 5, 2008

A Special Kind of Special Needs Student

It is no secret that children with cerebral palsy who are wheelchair bound are paying a price for their physical inactivity, even though it is not by choice.

The body functions best when upright, and the muscles are engaging. Abdominal muscles that are firing help with digestion, muscles pumping in the legs push the blood around and improve circulation.

And any physical activity in general is good for the body and mind. It is beneficial to use the body and become physically tired. It helps with restlessness, and the ability to sleep well. It creates endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.

And one of the best reasons of all….walking upright makes kids feel like everyone else, and other kids look at them the that way too!

Children with CP now have a great option for assisted walking. The TAOS walker, invented by a genius at Sky Medical in South Florida, is a great orthotic and walking system that can be used as a therapy tool, a method of ambulation, a break from the wheelchair, and so much more.

It is heart-warming to see a child walk for the first time. Parents, therapists, cameramen have all been moved to tears to see a child get strapped into a TAOS, and walk with a proper gait, down the hall and out a building door.

It's not only for walking. Children can use the walker to practice dexterity skill builders, build head and trunk control, and do standing activities such as washing dishes, playing at a sand table, or working a table puzzle.

It’s amazing. Every child with cerebral palsy who is not self-ambulatory should have one!

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