Monday, September 28

Specialized furniture needed for disabled children


KOTA KINABALU: Creativity is required to modify furniture for use by children with cerebral palsy or other disabilities which need special attention.

Consultant Paediatric Neurologist of Likas Hospital, Dr Heng Hock Sin, said children with cerebral palsy may have difficulty controlling their muscles and movements as they grow and develop. This will require their parents to buy expensive equipment and specialized furniture to ensure that their children are comfortable.

“Any parent caring for disabled children need extra time and equipment to assist them in their daily routine. Some equipment may not be available here, so parents need to be creative in modifying their existing equipment or making something with the assistance of doctors.

“For example, children with cerebral palsy may have problem with their hands, where their fingers are not strong enough to hold a small spoon. Parents can put velcro around the child’s hand to ensure the spoon does not fall.

“Children with cerebral palsy who have posture problems also need to have a special chair to ensure their bone structures are protected. Parents can do a bit of modification to ensure their child is comfortable sitting on it, instead of buying a new chair,” he added.

Heng was one of speakers who shared health care information at the seminar entitled “The Role of Parents in Caring for Special Needs Children” at Palace Hotel here yesterday.

The event was organized by the Board of Visitors of Taman Didikan Kanak-Kanak Kurang Upaya (TDKKU) Sembulan and co-organized by the hotel.

He also explained that it is normal for parents to experience lack of sleep in caring for special needs children. However, a number of recommendations have been suggested during the seminar.

Heng said disabled children, especially with cerebral palsy often having problems with sleeping, resulting in their parents also feeling tired after looking after them the whole night.

“It is important to ensure our children are comfortable when they are sleeping by providing a comfortable bed and quiet room. Set their sleeping hours at night and not during the afternoon. The environment at home must also be suitable for their needs,” he added.

Also present at the seminar yesterday were Professor Madya of Clinical Physchology School of Medicine UMS, Dr Narasappa Kumarawasmy who presented a talk entitled ‘The Role Of Parents in Caring for Special Needs Children; Consultant Paediatirc Medical of Likas Hospital, Dr  Fauziah Zainal Abidin who talked on ‘The Love From Parents Who Have Special Needs Children’; and TDKKU Sembulan chairperson Kathy Ong.

Later during the afternoon session, participants were invited to share their experiences and participated in activities organized by Dousa Hou Association of Sabah.