Case Histories:
Cerebral Palsy

LK is in his 20s with quadriplegic cerebral palsy with severely compromised dexterity in his upper limbs and tires after using a standard computer keyboard for an extended period, and has difficulties using a standard mobile phone for SMS messaging. He has dysarthric speech which is intelligible to those familiar with him however his intelligibility is reduced over the telephone, particularly for people who do not know him.

I recommended an oversized computer keyboard with a keyguard to accommodate his ataxia, and an SL40 Lightwriter communication aid to provide text-to-speech output to provide intelligible speech over the phone, and to provide SMS functionality with a full larger keyboard compared with a mobile phone and in a device that is more manageable for him to handle.

GW is a teenager with quadriplegic cerebral palsy with learning and communication difficulties. She had been provided with a communication aid but had outgrown it. She also had difficulties with computer access. I was instructed to consider her future environmental control needs to permit her to live independently in the future.

My recommendations included an up-to-date dynamic screen communication aid with sophisticated language-based communication software, a keyguard, and mounting systems for her wheelchair and for use while she is lying in bed. A computer with an appropriate alternative pointing device was also recommended, and also a comprehensive environmental control system to encompass doors, windows, curtains, lighting, and mains sockets, all under control through her communication aid.