Improvement in Coordination and Function
12 children aged 5-12 with Cerebral Palsy and upper-limb hemiplegia received robotic therapy twice a week for 8 weeks. The children showed significant improvement in total Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST) and Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scores.
A questionnaire administered to the children’s parents also showed significant improvement in how the children used the paretic arm during functional tasks at home.
(Fasoli, S. E., Fragala-Pinkham, M., Hughes, R., Hogan, N., Krebs, H.I., Stein, J., “Upper Limb Robotic Therapy for Children with Hemiplegia,” American Journal of Rehabilitation, 87:11:929-936 (2008)
Robotics Helps Tappan Girl Move Again
By Randi Weiner
To her mother, her special-education teacher and her therapists, watching 8-year-old Heather Matthew use both hands to cut out magazine pictures and glue them onto paper is like watching a miracle unfold.
Heather’s left side has been paralyzed since she was an infant. About 18 months ago, she qualified for an experimental program at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla using MIT-created robots to move her left arm in a circle hundreds of times to see if it would help return movement to her left side.
The results have been outstanding, said Donna Matthews of Tappan, Heather’s mother. Two days before her First Communion in May, Heather raised her left arm as high as her ear – the first time she had done since she was 17 months old.
“I think she’s really come a long way in the last two years,” said Eleanor Lacovetta, who has been Heather’s occupational therapist for three years and was helping her with the cut-and-paste project yesterday at her Rockland Board of Cooperative Education Services summer school class.
“Her fine motor skills have really improved. Now, when she’s engaged in a cutting activity, she’s stabilizing the paper with her left hand and bringing it to the cutting edge and helping guide the paper to the scissors. She was never able to do this before,” Lacovetta said.
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American Journal of Rehabilitation, 87:11 9292-936 (2008)