4 May 2022

Children’s rehabilitation aids at REHAB

The focus is on participation and inclusion

What is most important for children and young people with disabilities and their families when it comes to the provision of aids? And what is the goal of care for all those involved in the interdisciplinary team? “Patient-centredness” is not only called for by the ICF* and current legislation, it also ensures the success of assistive technology provision – because only an “accepted” assistive device that has proved itself in everyday life is used, implemented and leads to greater quality of life and more participation, in addition to functional medical improvements.

Young man in walking training Xplore from Made for Movement
Image source: Made for Movement

These are the goals in the minds of the exhibitors at the Marketplace for Child and Youth Rehabilitation at the first REHAB in Karlsruhe since the beginning of the pandemic. Here at REHAB, affected persons, therapy professionals, employees from specialised trades, institutions and clinics will find innovative aids for the important areas of life “locomotion, standing and sitting”, which make everyday life easier for children and young people with disabilities. The focus is on the practical benefits and the inclusive possibilities of use.

Mobility, sitting and standing ... mastering all of life’s situations

Children and young adults with complex movement impairments, who can carry their own weight only with difficulty or not at all and who have low trunk stability, benefit from the lightweight, manoeuvrable design of the Xplore walking trainer from Made for Movement, to cite only one example. This trainer’s young users have their hands free to interact with others. The ultralight design supports independent progress and long-lasting mobility indoors and outdoors.

Locomotion even with special seating solutions becomes child’s play for caregivers and young users in the Galileo seating shell chassis from Rehatec. The important features are numerous adaptative options and a variety of accessories to meet all individual requirements.

Small and big, the PR 40 and its little brother the PR35 S in size comparison.
Image source: PARAVAN GmbH

The big manufacturers of power wheelchairs have also developed special e-models for children and young people. There are numerous variants with and without stand-up functions. The most important aspects are manoeuvrability and easy handling. Here for example, the large mobility specialist Paravan, which has many years of relevant experience, will present robust e-wheelchairs in many sizes:

The complete range of wheelchairs from PARAVAN GmbH from the PR 35/ PR 35S, specially developed for child care, to the PR 50 power wheelchair approved as a driver's seat and the premiere of the new all-rounder PR 30 wheelchair.

Rehatec user image Nele
Image source: Rehatec

Sitting correctly is the be-all and end-all for us all:

At school, in day care centres, in the family and with friends at play, highly individualised seating shells ensure that even severely impaired young people can participate. For lighter support needs, a well-adjustable therapy chair often suffices for positioning. The first attempts at sitting become much easier for very young children with “growing” integrative therapy chairs. Thanks to height adjustment with a handle, the “Nele” from Rehatec, for example, becomes a faithful companion in the kindergarten, because this chair fits even the lowest children’s tables for optimal participation.

It is essential to seek expertise from medical supply stores in the region

Regional suppliers such as the Wurster, Brillinger and Storch and Beller medical supply stores are the first point of contact for customised seating shells and personalised fittings – because every person is different and young patients must always be correctly seated, even as they grow, in order to compensate for deformities and reduce the pain and physical consequences of the disability. This always requires paediatric orthopaedic specialists who, together with therapists and the affected individuals, develop holistic fitting concepts and implement them to achieve the greatest possible quality of life. Building blocks and components of individual sitting and lying shells for people with complex disabilities will be presented at REHAB Karlsruhe by manufacturers such as RehaNorm Bingen, which already has 50 years of experience in the construction of sitting shells.

Standing is essential for all of us – especially for communication “at eye level”, but also to stimulate the metabolism and strengthen the leg muscles or the hips. Visually and therapeutically complex highlights are children’s standing trainers such as the Heidelberg lying bear Lasse or the Heidelberg standing device Benni for regaining postural stability, balance and equilibrium.

MyEcc Special control
Image source: Homebrace

Using the fascination of technology for rehabilitation

Digitisation and high-tech make aids for children and young people with disabilities particularly attractive. The special wheelchair controls MyEcc and MyEcc Pupil from Homebrace are unique worldwide. Both convert eye movements into driving commands to the wheelchair. Seat adjustments can also be easily triggered via eye movements, entirely without moving the head. The two variants – one using a communication device and the other using a specially designed headset – offer individualised care depending on the clinical situation, even for children or people with highly complex disabilities (such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy or tetraplegia), who long to maintain their self-determination despite their severe limitations.

VITA bring children, young people and adults with disabilities together with helpers on four paws.
Image source: VITA e. V.

Therapists on four paws

Assistance dogs are “aids for the heart”: VITA bring children, young people and adults with disabilities together with helpers on four paws. The work of this non-profit organisation is based on a holistic concept that shows new ways of life for people with disabilities and other illnesses. The VITA assistance dogs are practical everyday helpers for their human partners on the one hand and therapists on four paws on the other. “For us, REHAB offers a great opportunity to familiarise an interested audience with the work of our association VITA e.V. Assistenzhunde. At our stand, visitors can experience in direct conversation with our VITA teams just how enriching life with an assistance dog is for people with disabilities. We are very much looking forward to the personal sharing with guests and other exhibitors”, says Tatjana Kreidler, founder and first chairwoman of VITA e.V..

Links on the topic of medical aid supply, problem areas and legal issues:

  • *International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, October 2005
https://www.bfarm.de/DE/Kodiersysteme/Klassifikationen/ICF/_node.html

  • Action Alliance for Needs-Based Provision of Therapeutic and Medical Aids
https://rehakind.com/aktuelles/aktionsbuendnis-fuer-bedarfsgerechte-heil-und-hilfsmittelversorgung/

  • Position of the Social Paediatric Society (only in german)
https://www.dgspj.de/wp-content/uploads/service-pressemitteilungen-hilfsmittelversorgung-oktober-2021.pdf

  • Guidelines on aids “Relevance to everyday life, ICF, individual needs”, particularly interesting starting at § 6ff.
https://www.g-ba.de/richtlinien/13/