Taro’s Ankle-Foot Orthotics (or AFO’s)

Taro's now wearing Ankle-Foot Orthotics to help keep his feet flat.

There are several types of orthotics prescribed for kids with CP. Orthotic devices are broken down into categories based on the area of the body they are intended to support. Depending on a child’s physical needs, he or she may need more than one. In Taro’s case he needed something to give him stability and keep his feet flat. It is a common condition for children with cerebral palsy to walk on the tips of their toes, as opposed to their feet – this can be treated over time by using foot-ankle devices that help stabilize, and strengthen the muscles and joints of the foot and ankle.

What are AFO’s exactly?

Ankle-Foot Orthotics – Sometimes referred to as AFOs or foot drop braces, these semi-rigid L-shaped braces stabilize both the foot and ankle to bring muscles and joints into ali...

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The importance of the sensory system and input

Sensory play with shaving cream

Our middle child Luca, was diagnosed a few years ago with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder, since then we have become very aware and learned a lot about sensory integration and why it is important to ALL children but especially those with disabilities.

At this stage it does not seem that Taro has sensory integration issues, but we try to give him as much sensory input as possible.

Why is it important?

Children are wired to receive and utilize sensory input from day one.  This is why children will dive in hands first, exploring a new substance.  The senses are their most familiar, most basic way to explore, process, and come to understand new information.

We must allow young children to learn through experience...

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The standing frame arrived!

Some of you might remember we were on Radio Tygerberg a few months ago (December 10, 2013)!
Let me start from the beginning. Marinus Stenekamp also from the Strand area, won R2500 from Radio Tygerberg on the Vuurvas talk show. He selflessly decided instead of keeping the prize he is going to ‘pay it forward’ and use the money to help someone.

So he asked he’s friend Jan Kruger if he knew of anybody. Jan told him about Taro and the pdf our family was circulating via email to help us raise some money. They contacted us to find out what it is we need, and we told them we need to buy a standing frame. So Marius and Jan contacted all their friends and family, got the R11 000 together and ordered and pay for the standing frame!

Taro is now using the standing frame everyday – it’s a v...

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Tiny Handz Sign Language

Baby and disability sign language training, cape town south africa

With the type of CP that Taro has (Dyskinetic Athetoid), Athetosis affects a person’s ability to control lip and tongue movements, breathing and vocal cords, as such, speech is affected to some degree in all people with athetosis. So apart from speech therapy I decided to look into other ways to help him communicate with us and stimulate that area of his brain.

A sign language (also signed language or simply signing) is a language which uses manual communication and body language to convey meaning, as opposed to acoustically conveyed sound patterns. This can involve simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speaker’s thoughts...

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Taro’s “Madiba Buggy”

Taro in his custom made "madiba buggy" from ShonaQuip

We got our special buggy!

When we went to see our Developmental Specialist about a month ago, she advised us to hold off on buying a walker or gait trainer for the moment, and rather concentrating on Taro’s core support and improving hand function. We didn’t know where to start, but our physio therapist told us about SHONAQUIP, they supply and manufacture mobility equipment for people with special needs.

At our first assessment Taro was greeted by three therapists. Our own physio Stefanie also came along to explain everything about Taro to them, and then they talked us through all the equipment appropriate for him. We have to compliment the staff that helped us they were all lovely and super helpful, even though Mr.Taro was not in the mood for any therapists as usual!

We only had...

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