Children With Brain Injury Benefit From HandTutor ArmTutor LegTutor

Children playing street hockey, Vancouver, Canada.

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Drs. JA Langlois ,W.Rutland-Brown  et al of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control  present a population based comparison of the clinical and outcome characteristics of young children with serious inflicted and non inflicted traumatic brain injury (TBI).
In the U.S, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in both children and adolescents . The two age groups at greatest risk for TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are the age groups 0-4 and 15-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that falls are the leading cause of TBI for children in the 0-4 age group.
62,000 children between the ages 0-19 sustain brain injuries with 2,685 deaths and 37,000 hospitalizations resulting. TBI result from motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries and physical abuse  + other causes.
Physical and cognitive impairments include cognitive functioning, physical abilities, communication, or social/behavioral disruption. Early diagnosis and ongoing physcial and occupational therapy will limit the severity of these symptoms.
What makes a brain injury in children different?
Although the impairments caused by TBI in children are similar to adults, the functional impact can be different. This is because children are not little adults. As we know the brain of a child is continually in development. In addition the assumption that a child with a brain injury will make a better recovery than an adult because of more brain “plasticity”  is now proven false. Recent evidence shows that a brain injury in a child has a more devastating impact on a child’s functional ability than an equivalent injury of the same severity in an adult.
In addition, the cognitive impairments of the child may only become apparent as the child gets older and faces different social and educative pressures and to develop socially appropriate behaviors. These delayed effects create lifelong challenges for those living with and teaching children post TBIboth in the school, home and community environment.
Some of the children post TBI will need lifelong physical and occupational therapy. challenges. However, the greatest challenges many children with brain injury face are changes in their abilities to think and learn and to
Common deficits that may be apparent after brain injury include difficulty in processing information, impaired judgment and reasoning. As we said, when an adult is injured, these deficits may become apparent in the early months following the injury. For a child however, it may take years before the deficits from the injury become evident. An example of this is taken from the story of  “Betsy.”
Betsy was an very and inquisitive 6 year old girl.   A motor vehicle accident led to her receiving a moderate brain injury.  She was then hospitalized and treated at the hospital before hospital discharge and follow up physical and occupational therapy home and outpatient care. Her recovery led to her missing a month of school. She apparently though with the aid of her parents and teachers managed to fit back on the development scale for children in her age and finish the school year with average grades.  It appeared though the she needed help in learning new skills, but was able to remember them with extra repetitions.
Betsy school life continued and she achieved average or above average grades until she reached fifth grade then her grades started to decline.  Her teachers and her parents were perplexed by the change. Although she tried to do her school and homework she complained that she just could not understand the schoolwork anymore.  In addition she became more irritable and tended to argue with the  teachers at times.   However there was no connection made to this educative performance change  and the brain injury sustained years ago.
Betsy experience is an example of the long term effects of brain injury in children. As her schoolwork  increased in difficulty it required more sophisticated problem solving techniques. It is precisely these areas of the brain that control this that were damaged by the TBI.  Betsy so called “grew into her injury”and then her deficits became more readily apparent.
Her local Brain Injury Association was able to educate her parents and teachers about the “neurocognitive stall”after a brain injury and recommend the most appropriate therapy.
When children with TBI return to school, the school and parents will then develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This will address the child’s educational needs.
This IEP is a flexible plan that can be changed as the student needs at school change.
The child may need continued physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Physiotherapy and occupational clinics in the US and around the world are using the HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor or Tutor system to improve the functional ability of both adults and children after TBI.  The HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor, are ergonomic wearable devices that through dedicated rehabilitation games allow for repetitive intensive movement practice. Intensive practice in the key tool that physical and occupational therapists use to promote movement performance and improve functional rehabilitation outcomes.  Controlled exercise practice using the HandTutor glove and ArmTutor and LegTutor arm and leg braces allows for multijoitn exercise practice. This practice is performed on both upper and lower extremities and because the practice is done within the normal movement pattern the patient does not develop the undesired compensatory joint movement. This ensures better rehabilitation outcomes.
The new medical devices are used in hospital, clinic and private home settings in the US, Europe and Asia and are FDA and CE certified.
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