Multitouch technology used in iPads, iPhones and other tablets or smartphones appears to be effective in helping children with cerebral palsy improve both communication skills and physical skills, according to new research.
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Researchers at a number of institutions, including Harvard and the University of Iowa, indicate that they have found patients with cerebral palsy find the apps to be more engaging than traditional therapy, which can involve a lot of repetition that children quickly find boring. However, the apps provide exciting and interesting visuals, instant feedback and can also take very accurate response-time measurements that therapists often cannot. In many cases, they appear to work better and faster than more traditional means of therapy for cerebral palsy.
Some applications are focused on increasing wrist and arm movement in cerebral palsy children, some help developmentally delayed children communicate by helping them create sentences using pictures, and others help those on the autism spectrum identify emotions, feelings and needs and communicate them to those around them.
While some of the apps are free, others can cost nearly $200. However, that is far less than non-multitouch technology therapy programs on more traditional computers, which can cost between $4,000 and $7,000.
Researchers indicate that there have been few studies on the actual effectiveness of the programs, and many of the developers are relying on those using the apps to help them determine how beneficial and widespread their use will be.
Cerebral palsy can be caused by a brain injury that occurs before, during or shortly after birth. If the brain of a baby is deprived of oxygen, it can result in irreversible damage that leaves the child with developmental problems, loss of motor functions and other life-long injuries and disabilities associated with cerebral palsy.
Although cerebral palsy can occur without a medical mistake, when the exercise of the proper standards of medical care could have prevented the child’s brain from being deprived of oxygen, the cerebral palsy lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. may be able to obtain compensation for the child through a medical malpractice lawsuit.