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Choosing Gaming Technology for Rehabilitation

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February 2015

Gaming Technology

XBOX Connect
Photo Credit: XBOX 360 3/ FreeImages/ Uploaded by STFUnoob

In recent years, a number of gaming devices have become commercially available and are quickly being incorporated into children’s rehabilitation programs. Systems like the Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii™ are two such examples. When choosing a device or gaming system, a therapist considers multiple factors.

The child’s age and ability impact his or her capacity to follow directions and play games on the device.  Motor capabilities help determine the level of additional support or adaptations a device may require for the child to hold the device. Visual perceptual capacities may pose a challenge or add additional frustration to game play. Games with high contrast or solid backgrounds may be easier for the child to see.

During intervention, therapists monitor for compensatory movements that could cause repetitive use injuries, and provide breaks at regular intervals. A therapist can teach you what to look out for at home and when it may be a good time for your child to take a break. The therapist can also give you feedback on the appropriate challenge based on your child’s ability.

If you have a topic or questions that you would like the Helping Hands blog to address, please email HelpingHands@kennedykrieger.org.

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