Posts Tagged ‘ cerebral palsy ’

Mom Creates Harness So Kids Get a Chance to Walk

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Mom Debby Einatan was heartbroken when she first received news that her son Rotem, then 2, had no consciousness of his legs due to cerebral palsy. His condition inspired her to create a harness, called the Firefly Upsee, that allows wheelchair-bound small children to walk with a parent or adult. More from TODAY Moms:

On April 7, the Firefly Upsee Harness will be available for $540 plus shipping and fits children ages 3 to 8. Upsee includes double rubber shoes, a pair for parent and child each. The harness, which parents wear around their waists, consists of a soft material and resembles a wearable baby carrier.

Physical therapist Joseph Schreiber says the Upsee may be helpful for children to play and move more efficiently.

“It is always wonderful to see children, especially those with special needs, participating in a wide variety of fun and age-appropriate activities,” Schreiber, pediatrics president for the American Physical Therapy Association, told TODAY Moms in an email.

He recommends parents consult with physical therapists before purchasing a product such as Upsee to make sure it is safe and the right choice for the child.

Elnatan says being upright and bearing his or her own weight gives the child access to the world.

“[The child] can reach out and touch, something which is hard to do from a carriage or wheelchair,” Elnatan says.

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Life with Cerebral Palsy
Life with Cerebral Palsy
Life with Cerebral Palsy

Image via Shutterstock

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Study Examines Obesity Among Special-Needs Children

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Thirteen percent of American families include children with physical or developmental disabilities, but those families are left out of education and action campaigns around the obesity epidemic, a report from a special-needs advocacy group says.  The findings have led AbilityPath.org, an online resource and social community for parents and professionals serving the needs of adults and children with disabilities, to release a report called Finding Balance, with the goal of raising awareness of obesity among kids with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities, and offering tools to parents to help combat obesity in their families.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children with disabilities are 38% more likely to be obese than their counterparts.  “As a community, we must recognize the special dangers that obesity presents to our children,” says Sheryl Young, CEO of Abilitypath.org, “This is an epidemic in our own homes and we can and must find solutions.”

The report provides more startling statistics:

  • 67.1% of the teens with autism spectrum disorder were either overweight or obese.
  • 86.2% of the teens with Down syndrome were either overweight or obese.
  • 18.8% of the teens with cerebral palsy were either overweight or obese.
  • 83.1% of the teens with spina bifida were either overweight or obese.
  • 39.6% of the teens with intellectual disability were either overweight or obese.

Food aversions are common among special-needs children, among other reasons because medications often have appetite-altering side effects.  Mobility limitations also make it difficult for many children to be active enough to maintain a healthy weight. Increasing accessibility for play spaces, and including special-needs children in obesity studies and policy conversations are among the recommendation the report makes.

The report, which is in collaboration with Special Olympics and Best Buddies International, can be downloaded at the AbilityPath website.

(image via: http://stanfordmedicine.org/)

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