When the child is having any disorder, the parents want to try every possible thing to treat her. Cerebral palsy has become one of the most common physical disabilities now-a-days affecting 17 million people worldwide. Many children have orthotic devices that help them walk; some even undergo surgery to lengthen and loosen tight muscles, or to correct spine deformities. Most likely, people have physical therapy, some children also will need occupational therapy, recreational therapy and speech therapy. Many children with CP have intellectual disabilities in addition to speech impediments, so they need more hours of therapy which makes the therapy hectic for kids and parents and will increase the cost of therapy.
Today’s young generation has at least one gaming console at home maybe it’s Microsoft, X-box, PlayStation etc. But why do they have it? Why do they play it? They may probably play it for fun or it may be the means of time pass. But have you ever thought if gaming could have a different purpose? What if it was not about high scores but was more about participation? What if we could play such games to improve our health and physical ability? According to research, video games have been used for children with CP since the late 1990s and have been shown to increase motivation. It has been the source of entertainment for children. It helps the child with CP to gain more mobility. To keep children engaged in therapy computer games was incorporated in therapy in which a range of learning elements with interactive cognitive challenges help children to positively engage in activities. Studies have found the benefits of video games in rehabilitation training and have shown that well-designed interactive games can improve players’ motor skills and visual-spatial processing skills, because traditional therapy methods are usually intense for children, they need to take multiple breaks.
Video games rehabilitation is safe and feasible, self-motivated physical therapy which is guided by a low-cost video game system is indeed very much attractive. It is observed that children are highly motivated to play the video games that helping to improve the upper extremity abilities of children with CP. Patients who participate in virtual reality gaming therapy can increase the intensity, frequency and duration of therapy movements that lead to enhanced motor performance.
Courtesy- The Globe & Mail