Each Week OT expert, Sarit Tresser will be giving an in-depth insightful analysis into the various ways Health Games aid both children and adults with disabilities. Tune in to receive first-hand input from a professional in the medical field of child development
Today I will talk about children that can walk on a flat, stable surface with the help of assisted devices for walking, use wheelchairs when required to move large distances, or terrain conditions.
The focus of intervention with this kids, vary from child to child depending on the stage of development and the goals that are important to the child and family. Typically, those of a younger age will devote the bulk of care to improve motor skills and daily functioning, along with game development and social skills. More advanced ages start to think in the direction of leisure and development interests.
A virtual environment can play an important role in each of these stages. With Young children we will put emphasize on playfulness, fun, and developing a sense of competence and self-worth by providing him a suitable game environment that allows him to experience successes and achievements.
When the child is motivated to participate in the activity, we can promote training of motor skills alongside his playing experience.
a Often, the child’s range of motion is limited. virtual environment allows us to adjust the the range of motion according to his ability, that is, the smallest movement will be translated on the screen in full-motion, allowing the child to experience success in activities who otherwise would not be able to perform.
This tool for adjustment of working space to the child range of motion, allows us also to challenge the child and work on increasing range of motion. At the beginning of the therapeutic process therapist sets the minimum range of movement they need for the child, and later by the child’s progress, the therapist will increase the range and each child will stretch his hands far more than ever before. Child is highly motivated to succeed in the game, and after experiencing success and feeling confident, will usually agrees to the challenge and try to achieve the goal.
The treatment will be carried out so that the child sits on the bolster / wheelchair / normal chair (depending on the child’s ability). If a child’s wheelchair has a tray that blocks the lower range of motion, the downward movement is blocked for him and he can not stretch his hands downwards (below the tray/blister). In this situation, we adjust, within the Timocco game environment, range of motion that tracks the hand movement for the waist up. (This paragraph is hard to understand)
Initially, start a short demo of the game before you dress the balls on the hands of the child. Next, dress the child’s hand one ball and assist him with the process of learning and familiarity with the game, in a way that the therapist holds one ball and follows the movement of the child with his own hand. This is to help the child recognize and learn the new movment pattern needed for the game. Further, according to the child’s learning pace, give him the two balls of the game and allow him to play independently. We will start with the simple games focusing on understanding the connection between cause and effect, in order to facilitate the child’s learning process. Later we can move on to activities that require motor control at a level slightly higher.
Placing the camera (that tracks the balls) high, above the screen, challenge the child to hold his hands up and train the shoulder girdle. For a child who has difficulty raising his hands we place the camera below the screen at the same level as the child’s hands, so that he could reach the objects presented to him and to experience success. Another possibility is to attach a ball with a strip of Velcro, and play the game by head movements, instead of working with their hands. I will address this possibility in detail in the next post.