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 field of child development
In this post I will illustrate the condition of children who suffer from severe motor damage, limiting voluntary movements and the ability to maintain a stable position of the head and body against the force of gravity. These children have no means of independently mobility.
Treatment goals in working with these children vary between stretch techniques, prevent contracture and stiffness of the muscles, improving the quality of life and accessibility of the environment in the best way possible in order to allow them to be involved, engaged and have control over their environment.
Assistive technology is one of the solutions for allowing accessibility and adjustments of computerized environment for these children, such as Head switches and Eye tracking technology. Those tools often are in use in order to allow the child to communicate using a computerized communication board and express his desires and thoughts or engage in leisure and learning.
However, there are not many tools for enrichment, leisure and recreation for these children. The virtual game environment of Timocco can be integrated with the stretches sessions. You can attach the game sensors to the child’s hands (sitting or lying down) and run the game on a screen located in front of his eyes. Although the child is passive while stretching, in this way, he can enjoy the experience of playing and can get a sense of what it feels to use body movements within a context. Child will learn that his own body movements has meaning and that his hands can react to things and have an affect on the surrounding. Equally important, the Stretching routines become interesting and fun activities that will distract him for the stretches themselves and target his attention towards the game experience.
If the child has some level of control over his head the virtual environment of Timocco can be used by attaching the sensor (ball) the child’s head. You can attach the ball to the boy’s forehead with a strip of velcro supplied with the kit. In this way, the child can control the game by moving his head. Integration this function with the option to reduce the range of motion in the game, allow the child to play with Timocco by making small head movements that are converted to large movements on the screen.
Another option is to use eye-tracking sensor, such as the Tobii Eye Gaze combined with the virtual environment of Timocco. In this case, eye tracking software can replace the sensors of Timocco (balls). Since Timocco support Eye-tracking technology, you can combine the two and enjoy the contents of Timocco with eye movement.