For people with special needs, everyday items like utensils, toys, tools can be extremely difficult to use because these items are designed with the assumption that the user is completely able-bodied. Those with limited joint mobility, developmental disorders, or other conditions that hinder their ability to easily control their movements may need help to hold everyday objects.
Low-Tech Adaptive Equipment
Low-tech adaptive equipment can be used to adapt a typical object to meet the unique requirements of a person with special needs. For people who cannot grip items easily, an adaptive device that connects the item around a person's hand or arm can be life-changing. Though this technology is quite simple, it can make a huge difference for people with the following conditions:
1. Autism Spectrum Disorders
This neurological condition is mostly known for its effect on social skills, but many people with autism also face sensory, coordination, and dexterity challenges. Since movement can be so difficult for them, many people with autism struggle to hold toothbrushes, use a fork, and employ other common devices. Therefore, adaptive devices for smaller items may be very beneficial.
Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are conditions that make it difficult or painful to move certain joints. There are many joints within the hands, so they are often one of the areas most negatively affected by arthritis. Though a person with arthritis may not be able to hold a brush delicately in their fingers, adaptive cuffs can help them to still continue painting and other activities that require fine motor skills.
When a person suffers from a stroke, blood flow is temporarily interrupted in a section of the brain, causing a great deal of damage. Many stroke victims therefore end with physical challenges after the portion of the brain responsible for fine motor control is damaged. Time and rehabilitation help with recovery, but many seniors continue to struggle with grip issues for months after having a stroke.
4. Limb loss
Though a prosthesis can be used to regain mobility after limb loss, it can be difficult to replicate the gripping ability of an opposable thumb. Many adaptive devices focus on changing the way an object is held, so that gripping it firmly between fingers is no longer necessary. Therefore, they can help people dealing with limb loss to regain the ability to use certain items.
Dyspraxia, which is also known as developmental coordination disorder, affects roughly five percent of all children. This is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to plan and coordinate movements. Though a child may logically know what needs to be done to pick up a cup, they may not be able to properly time and move the muscles needed to grip items and use fine motor skills.
6. Multiple Sclerosis
This degenerative condition happens when the protective coating of nerves is gradually eaten away. The effects of multiple sclerosis are often first noticed in the hands and feet, and it results in numbness, weakness, and temporary paralysis. Using an adaptive strap makes it easier to hold things for people with multiple sclerosis, and it prevents them from dropping something if the condition suddenly flares up.
EazyHold offers a collection of comfortable silicone hand straps to assist those challenged by weakened hand grip, arthritis and other disabilities. Visit our blog to learn more, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay in touch.