Abstract of V. Kindler lecture


V. Kindler, M. Waisman Nitzan
Dvorah Agmon Preschool Development CenterIsrael

Children diagnosed as having Cerebral Palsy with impairments in their
independent mobility, are at risk for participation in different activities
of their daily lives. The GMFCS (Gross Motor Function Classification
System) shows that children at level III – V on that scale will use
mobility aids including the use of a powered wheelchair. Evidence of
the benefits of powered mobility for children with cerebral palsy in the
social, emotional, and cognitive aspects is accumulating. Yet, the use
of powered mobility is still not as widespread as expected among
therapists and families. This paper will provide a review of the
research on powered mobility with young children, and will discuss
both the habilitation teams’ clinical reasoning and the families’
decision making process regarding the implementation of powered
mobility with these children. We will also describe the contribution of
powered mobility to the participation ability of young children with
cerebral palsy; describe the variety of assistive technology mobility
solutions in relation to the different GMFCS levels, and present the
perspectives and dilemmas of families and habilitation teams
regarding the use of powered mobility. The every day use of powered
mobility is influenced by both child and family factors. These are
intertwined with the practical experiences and opportunities for
powered mobility use. We believe that the term “confined to a wheel
chair” is wrongly used. Powered mobility is not merely a way of
independent movement but rather a way for the child to discover and
build his own autonomy.

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