Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Choice of an Adapted Mobility Device for a Child with Cerebral Palsy and Visual ImpairmentBy Glanzman, Allan; Ducret, Walter; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 38-41
Publication Date: January 2003
Article on the selection of a mobility device for a child with cerebral palsy and visual impairments that allows the child to achieve his or her highest potential. The selection of a mobility device has traditionally been the responsibility of the physical therapist. When a child has needs that overlap these two areas, collaboration is needed to assess the impact of a particular device on the child's pace and travel safety. Children with visual impairments who do not have a neuromotor impairment may have an immature pattern of walking to lower the center of gravity and increase stability in anticipation of unseen obstacles. Students with visual impairments may use a variety of different style precanes or adapted mobility devices as alternatives to the traditional long cane when starting to walk, or a long cane may be introduced as the first mobility device. These devices are used in the hope that they will decrease the children's anxiety, give the children the ability to use their tactile skills to retrieve information about the immediate environment, and facilitate movement and exploration within their surroundings. The participant in the study was a five-year-old boy who was totally blind and had spastic deplegic cerebral palsy with mild tone in his legs. He had been an independent community ambulator since age three. Initially, he began ambulating with a rollator walker and afterward was trained with the "I" and "Y" canes described in the article. In the study, eight-millimeter videography was used to evaluate the subject's joint angle with one of three canes, and with no cane. Two of the canes, the I and the Y, were assistive mobility devices and named appropriately for their shape. The third was a traditional straight cane. The analysis of the participant's pace was conducted in four conditions - no cane, I-style cane, Y-style cane, and straight cane over three successive ten-foot walks, with markers placed on the ankle, knee joint, hip, and shoulder. An eight-millimeter camera was mounted on a tripod at waist height and maintained a fixed distance from the subject to record extension of the joints with each cane. For the participant, the I-style cane allowed for the most erect posture and the maximum hip and knee extensions. These findings could have been the result of the greater stability provided by the wide base of the the I-style cane.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/JVIB/JVIB9701toc.asp