Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog Talk Radio - Exoskeletons: Can Iron Man Support Physical Disabilities?

Blog Talk Radio Interview with Dr. Gene Emmer on the Exoskeleton Monday April 4 at 8:30 am Pacific. The exoskeleton is an outer suit that could take the place of a wheelchair. There are many models, prototypes and neurological extensions being developed. Dr. Gene Emmer has been investigating the research and development of the exoskeleton and has conducted interviews with some leaders in the field. His website is: Reading his research, I have discovered that there are external suits and also "bionic" prosthetics that connect to a brain implant that controls by actual neuropathway synapses. Folks with issues between the brain and body/arms and legs have special challenges in getting neuropathways connected to allow triggers to move prosthetics. There have been great discussions on therapy and use of the exoskeleton for people with disabilities. Below is "Rex", an example of an exterior system that supports the legs. Check out an example with "Rex" shown below and YouTube video: Dr. Emmer and I began to email several years ago when he shared a wheelchair under-carriage LED light system. I posted that on my blog and since then we have kept in contact. Dr. Emmer and I have been working on a Blog Talk Radio interview for some time now and I am excited to share that we will be on for you to listen or call in and chat on Monday, April 4th at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time. The archive will be available on my sidebar to listen and download as well after the show. The call in number is: 310 982-4116 if you want to ask a question or contribute to the discussion. Hope to see you there! Here is the link to the show: No Limits 2 Learning Live- Blog Talk Radio All the best! Lon Digg! Bookmark this on Delicious

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wii Therapy: Mats, Standards and Loads of Fun!

I have been out and about setting up some new Wii systems we were able to purchase from a hospital grant that funds therapy tools for OT/PT in the schools. I went to 2 new schools with new loan systems this week that included:

Wii game module and Wii Sports/Sports Resort
Active Life Outdoor Challenge Game and mat
Wii Fit Board and Fit plus game CD
Wii play game CD

Alternative PE Time and Therapy Rolled into One!
We visited during Alternative PE and showed the Wii Games on a projector/screen. We started by using the mat with Outdoor Challenge to play several games with students in a standard rolled over the mat and locked in place. These games are great for stretching legs, foot movement, eye-foot coordination and motor planning.
1. Timber Trail - player runs in place and then jumps to go over log obstacles. There is a blue circle target to time the jump.
2. Pipe Slider - we seat the student on the center of the mat with upper body support then physically assist if necessary the hand movements to steer down a water slide and pat the mat to move faster.
3. Mountain Boarder - Again in a standard, the player stands with left foot in the center and right slightly back on a back button. Jump to go up ramps and move a foot to center left or right for tricks.
4. Mole Whacker - Based on the "Whack-a-Mole" game, the player in the standard is rolled and positioned over the mat to try and tap the corresponding target on the mat with foot to the spot where the mole pops up on the screen.

Collecting Data:
We are choosing either a physical - fine/gross motor goal, a cognitive problem solving goal or a social/communication goal. We write down the games that were played, the level of verbal and physical assist, and any notes or observations on set up, progress towards goal, etc.

Note on Outdoor Challenge Game: This game came out in 2009 and is not for sale new anymore. We had no problem buying used ones through Amazon or other searches for about $50-60. They are out there and well worth it!

All the best to you!