Cerebral Palsy (CP) refers to a group of conditions that affect an individual’s ability to move. People with CP generally experience difficulty walking, balancing or controlling their muscles.
Because cerebral palsy restricts movement, it can be difficult for people with the condition to interact with the world around them, especially because the objects and activities available aren’t often designed with differing ability levels in mind.
If you know someone with cerebral palsy and want to support them, you can start by helping them access the physical world. Special modifications make many activities accessible to these individuals, empowering them to live engaging and active lives.
How Adaptive Toys Are Made for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, yet many children with CP still struggle to find toys and games they can access. This issue exists because many products require the fine motor skills and coordination that CP makes difficult. For some, the restriction can make enriching play close to impossible.
At Enabling Devices, we understand the joy play adds to a child’s life. To bring this vital aspect of growing up to more children and teens, we developed a variety of adaptive toys and toy modifications designed specifically for kids with mobility limitations. Toys with extra-large switches or enhanced grip can make play accessible to many children with special needs, including those with cerebral palsy.
Benefits of Adaptive Toys for Children With Cerebral Palsy
All children are drawn to play. In addition to providing fun and entertainment, play activities help kids learn as well as grow and develop important physical, emotional and mental skills. Adaptive toys help children with CP access all the benefits of play within their capabilities.
The benefits of play vary from child to child and by stage of development. Here are a few general benefits of adaptive toys for children with cerebral palsy:
- For babies: Playing with toys can help babies with CP explore, engage with the physical world and mentally develop alongside their peers.
- For toddlers: Toys designed for toddlers with CP can provide important practice with different motor skills.
- For children: Playing with toys can help children with CP reach important developmental milestones and improve language and social skills.
Adaptive toys also help parents of children with cerebral palsy by providing an outlet for their children to interact, explore and express themselves — aspects of child development that delight all parents.
How to Select the Right Adapted Product
Since all people with CP are unique, you should try to choose products that appeal to their personal interests and align with their goals. Here are a few additional questions parents and caregivers can ask themselves when selecting an adaptive or modified toy:
- Can my child use this toy in a wheelchair or other position?
- Does this toy respond to input or action to engage my child?
- Is this toy appropriate for my child’s stage of development?
You might also try to pick toys that the child can use without much physical assistance. Such items can help kids develop confidence and independence within their ability.
Have a Device in Mind That You Don’t See? We May Be Able to Make It for You!
All children deserve access to toys that help them learn and grow. Physical limitations shouldn’t prevent a child from having fun. At Enabling Devices, we offer toys for children and adults of all ages who have cerebral palsy.
We also know that the perfect toy for your child may not exist yet. If you have an idea for a device but don’t see it on our website, reach out to us! We’d love to work with you to develop a product that meets your needs.