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Handy training for hand coordination

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Specially made: S. Karthikeyan, physical therapist, detailing the assessment kits meant for children with cerebral palsy at a workshop in Tiruchi on Saturday.
Specially made: S. Karthikeyan, physical therapist, detailing the assessment kits meant for children with cerebral palsy at a workshop in Tiruchi on Saturday.

S. Aishwarya

Workshop and unit with assessment kits for special children inaugurated

TIRUCHI: When your mom blames your carelessness for dropping a bowl filled with water, she is, most probably, right. But when the bowl goes crashing down from the hands of a child with cerebral palsy, blame it on the biology.

Even simple chores that one takes for granted could be extremely difficult to perform for the cerebral palsied children.

Tasks as simple as uncorking a bottle, holding a pen, unlocking with a key, switching on the light are the toughest. The lack of coordination and inability to balance make their hand quiver and stumble while performing these tasks.

To improve hand movements of these kids, Spastics Society of Tiruchi organised a workshop on ‘Hand function in children with cerebral palsy’ on Saturday.

“By focussing too much on lower limbs, most of us fail to improve the hand function of the kids. Hand flexibility and extension are mandatory to help the children carry out self-grooming tasks,” the coordinator of the workshop C. Shantakumar said.

Resource persons, at the workshop, spoke on the science behind hand movements and ways to improve it.

A ‘hand function’ unit equipped with assessment kits was also opened.

An assortment of colourful play kits at the unit were introduced to the special educators, who took part in the workshop. They had kits like switch boards and peg boards that help the children to identify colours, shapes and sizes, image puzzles to improve their cognitive skill and sewing toys to develop their hand movements. The toys teach the children to carry bottles, hold spoons and forks, throw balls and draw curves.

“The finger flexion is very less among these children and training them to draw curves is the first step towards teaching them to write,” says physical therapist S. Karthikeyan.

Suresh Chelliah, a consultant paediatrician was the chief guest of the inaugural function. Principal of Kamalam Viswanathan College of Physiotherapy D. Manimaran delivered special address. Secretary of Spastics Society of Tiruchi M. Subramanian presided over. Thirty trainers of special children and students of Kamalam Viswanathan College from Physiotherapy attended the workshop.

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