Cerebral Palsy is a broad term covering a wide range of disorders primarily affecting movement. Damage to the motor control centres of the developing brain, before, during or soon after birth can affect muscle control, coordination and tone; and also vision, hearing, speech and learning may be involved. Assistive technology is widely used by children and adults with cerebral palsy. The areas related to the equipment available through Zyteq are listed here.
If a child has difficulty playing with toys and socialising with others assistive technology may assist. Play helps a child’s development in many ways. Here are some strategies for a child with cerebral palsy to play:
Accessible or adapted toys: adapted toys enable a child to manipulate and derive sensory input. Adapted toys enable a child to play with another child, sibling, group of children or adult/s, to assist with all the important development related to socialising and interacting.
If a child can operate a switch with fist, head, foot or other movement, s/he can control a toy. Zyteq offers a range of switches and switch mounts, and a few toy control options.
Many of the communication devices have the infrared remote control transmitters in-built. Some also have radio transmitters. This will permit control of the toy which is operated by radio or infra red remote control through the AAC device, and the access method used with the device.
Communication is fundamental to all aspects of life and is acknowledged as the basic human right. With cerebral palsy may come a wide range of communication difficulties. Some people have speech which is a difficult to understand; some people may not speak at all, and some people may have difficulty understanding what people say. Others may have combinations of these, and whether together or in combination we use the term Complex Communication Needs (CCN). Complex communication needs may be temporary or lifelong.
For young children with cerebral palsy it is important that autonomous communication is fostered from the earliest age, and that alternative strategies are used even though speech may still be developing. It is important that movement difficulties affecting the development of speech or gesture do not set up barriers to communication development and opportunity.
It is important to consult with a speech pathologist to ensure that the Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) strategies are implemented. A speech pathologist's training includes communication, speech and language and so is the appropriate professional to assist.
The relevant Zyteq equipment areas may be:
Communication AAC – Zyteq specializes in a wide range of devices with voice output communication. A number of devices offer a wider range of communication features in addition to the voice output. These features include e-mail, SMS, voice calls, Skype, notebook and word processing.
Access for communication
Zyteq offers a wide range of the access options in combination with the AAC Devices. Operating a devices via a keyboard or a touchscreen may not be possible, so alternatives such as joysticks, switches/scanning, mouse alternatives, alternative keyboards, keyguards, eye gaze may be employed.
TV, Music, Video
Many of the AAC Devices include environment control units of the (ECU) which permit the operation of household equipment such as TV, cable TV, music system, VCR and so on. Standalone ECU Devices are also available. A number of these functions may also be available as part of an AAC device, so that you would watch the video on the AAC device screen, for example.