What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about age three. Resulting limits in movement and posture cause activity limitation and are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, depth perception and other sight-based perceptual problems, communication ability; impairments can also be found in cognition, and epilepsy is found in about one-third of cases. CP, no matter what the type, is often accompanied by secondary musculoskeletal problems that arise as a result of the underlying etiology.[source wikipedia]
Occupational therapy helps adults and children maximise their function, adapt to their limitations and live as independently as possible. Occupational Therapy (OT) enables individuals with CP to participate in activities of daily living that are meaningful to them. A family-centred philosophy is used with children who have CP. Occupational therapists work closely with families in order to address their concerns and priorities for their child. Occupational therapists may address issues relating to sensory, cognitive, or motor impairments resulting from CP that affect the child’s participation in self-care, productivity, or leisure. Parent counselling is also an important aspect of occupational therapy treatment with regard to optimizing the parent’s skills in caring for and playing with their child to support improvement of their child’s abilities to do things.The occupational therapist typically assesses the child to identify abilities and difficulties, and environmental conditions, such as physical and cultural influences, that affect participation in daily activities. Occupational therapists may also recommend changes to the play space, changes to the structure of the room or building, and seating and positioning techniques to allow the child to play and learn effectively. Speech therapy helps control the muscles of the mouth and jaw, and helps improve communication. Just as CP can affect the way a person moves their arms and legs, it can also affect the way they move their mouth, face and head. [source wikipedia]
AAC – Alternative Augmentative Communication
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. AAC is used by those with a wide range of speech and language impairments, including congenital impairments such as cerebral palsy, intellectual impairment and autism, and acquired conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. AAC can be a permanent addition to a person’s communication or a temporary aid. Modern use of AAC began in the 1950s with systems for those who had lost the ability to speak following surgical procedures. During the 1960s and 1970s, spurred by an increasing commitment in the West towards the inclusion of disabled individuals in mainstream society and developing the skills required for independence, the use of manual sign language and then graphic symbol communication grew greatly. It was not until the 1980s that AAC began to emerge as a field in its own right. Rapid progress in technology, including microcomputers and speech synthesis, have paved the way for communication devices with speech output and multiple options for access to communication for those with physical disabilities. [source wikipedia]
urTalker App : AAC – Alternative Augmentative Communication
urTalker was developed to provide a new cost effective communication option for those with disabilities. The founders needed an affordable solution for their son who has cerebral palsy, autism, limited vision, and is non-verbal. Several therapies and devices were available for one but not all of these conditions and not at a price that was affordable. After years of working with various educators, therapists and individuals urTalker emerged.