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Communication with Cerebral Palsy

Posted in Blog on October 31, 2014


Medical News Today recently reported on a little girl named Ruby living in the UK with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy (visit our Cerebral Palsy page to learn more about Quadriplegic CP). At birth, Ruby was deprived of oxygen for half an hour, leaving her with permanent brain damage that makes everyday life incredibly challenging. Ruby is highly intelligent and struggles with communicating her thoughts and needs because of her physical limitations.

Until recently, Ruby was forced to use laminated symbols to communicate with her therapists, friends, and family. During school, Ruby would have to spend a long time trying to point her eyes in the right direction to let people know which letters she was trying to use to spell out a word. Over time, her parents sought out better, more technological solutions that would allow her to express herself more easily. After a long period of trial and error with various devices, they set their sights on eye gaze technology, whereby a person communicates through a computer with a pointer that tracks their eye movements and can make a “click” or selection by blinking or staring. For someone like Ruby who struggles with coordination and motor skills, eye gazing technology can mean a significantly better lifestyle.

At first, Ruby was denied coverage and grant money for the eye gazing technology. With the right amount of persistence and charity fundraising, eventually Ruby received enough funding to buy portable eye gazing technology with an appropriately sized screen. With the Tobii I-12 eye tracker, Ruby’s able to communicate with her peers and caretakers like never before. The miraculous device has allowed Ruby to feel more independent and participate in situations that were previously implausible.

Although Ruby received the device she was aiming for, she will need continuous updates and additional software as time goes on. Her family is continuing fundraising efforts in order to keep Ruby up-to-date with the latest and greatest technology to aid in her communicating with others. To donate to Ruby’s cause, visit their page here.

Weiss & Paarz has spent decades helping victims of Cerebral Palsy and other types of birth injury obtain compensation to cover lifetime costs of care and therapy to ensure the best possible quality of life. If you or a loved one has been a victim of birth injury, call our office today for a free consultation.



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