As occupational therapists and mentors if we see a client is going to be a quadriplegic we want to work up their neck muscles as that will be most likely what they are going to use throughout their life. A toddler with good neck control will be able to drive their power chairs with an ASL head system and they are going to be able to play with friends. The ability for a toddler to drive a power chair is going to tell the child that even with their physical disabilities they are going to be able to move independently. If we see that their neck is the strongest body part we want them to build that up as that will be how they are going to do everything in life.
Being a quadriplegic, I thank God that my occupational therapist stopped trying to use my hands when she saw they weren’t going to work and went to my neck which was my strongest part of my body. If we work with our client’s stronger body parts at an early age they are going to be able to build those muscles up to be able to utilize them for the rest of their life. They will be able to demonstrate knowledge with ease as they wouldn’t have to actively think about using the body part but rather it will come naturally to them allowing them to concentrate on school work. If we are able to determine which body part is going to work the best we are going to be able to fit the communication device and the power chair to their specific needs allowing them to be independent at the toddler age.
As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to help our young clients to become independent when they would normally start walking. My general goal for every mentee is to get them communicating and moving independently on time so they are able to start general education by the age of five. If this can happen the child will be able to do everything on time giving them a positive self-esteem. I had been one of those children and that is why I was able to start my career right when my peers were starting their careers.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children