An Analysis of Constraints on Access to Augmentative Communication in Cerebral Palsy
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BACKGROUND: Effective use of augmentative communication requires an individual to manage its technical aspects. Motor-skill limitations in cerebral palsy (i.e., individual constraints) can influence this ability as can demands imposed by communication devices (i.e., task constraints). PURPOSE: This paper emphasizes the importance of analyzing the confluence of task and individual constraints in promoting a functional fit between the individual with cerebral palsy and the communication device. We demonstrate the utility of current principles of motor control in analyzing this confluence. KEY ISSUES: Task constraints imposed by target selection and individual constraints imposed by cerebral palsy are introduced prior to an analysis of their confluence using the degrees of freedom of the potential planes of limb motion. IMPLICATIONS: Occupational therapists should look beyond motor-skill assessment to the confluence of task and individual constraints when customizing target selection in augmentative communication.
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