Neuromuscular conditions include conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Muscular Dystrophy. These conditions cause muscle weakness, and atrophy (shrinkage).
The great news is assistive technology is here to help! There are many devices to assist with daily living, including DIY (Do It Yourself) AT.
Because these disabilities are degenerative it is important to understand the needs of the individual. While one device may have worked a year ago, the individual may need a different device or modification to the current device to meet their needs.
Computer access can be a difficult task for those with neuromuscular conditions. The fine motor skills required for typing and scrolling through pages can become increasingly difficult.
There are many different ways to adapt a keyboard and mouse to better fit someone's needs.
Tobii Dynavox technology has the best eye gaze technology around! It uses your eye movements to control a computer.
For low tech a
daptions use a mouth stick and alter your keyboard, or use the dictation feature that is already built into both Macs and PCs. You can even use this dictation feature to control your computer by using commands such as "open notes" or "close window."
PCs also come with switch access options, but you must use
switch interfaces (do not come with computers) for them to work.
Eating & Healthcare
plates are very beneficial and forgiving with mobility difficulties.
Pour Thing gives assistance by holding the gallon (or half gallon) beverage and allowing you to pour with only two fingers. This
automatic can opener only needs one touch to get moving. There are also
levers to help with opening sodas,
cutting boards that require use of only one hand, and one-handed
It can be very difficult to retrieve pills from some packaging. Luckily there is a
Pill Popper to assist you in pushing them out of blister packs. Maddak has some great adaptions for
clipping nails by giving you extended handles and more leverage. Sometimes a few more handles or an easy place to sit can make all the difference in the bathroom. Walmart has some great bathroom aids from
wall handles to
There are many ways to adapt technology and devices you may already have around the house. DIY adaptions are great because they are usually inexpensive, a good bonding activity, and can change as often as needed.
The first great home adaptation tool is foam.
floral foam is easily carved and holds objects that are pressed into it. Foam allows you to extend handles or make them thicker if gripping thin objects is too difficult. It is also great for shaping irregular shapes to form more comfortable levers or holds.
Vinyl tubing is found at most hardware stores and makes an inexpensive and easy extended straw for on the go or at home.
If someone has difficulties moving from sitting to standing,
bed risers can elevate the seat and allow for an easier transition.