Play – something kids of all ages and abilities enjoy doing. Donovan is a sixth grader who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, he loves to play video games and floor hockey. Jason Kelecic, DPT at Gillette Children’s, explains how standing benefits Donovan (and other kids with Muscular Dystrophy) physically and socially and helps him get back to play.
“For individuals with DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy)/BMD (Becker Muscular Dystrophy), a sit-to-stand stander may be the most practical. The stander itself should fit into the user’s physical environment, be it home or school, and also his lifestyle. Donovan himself identified that moving slowly to a fully upright position lessened any discomfort associated with the increased stretch felt in his legs.
Donovan uses his stander at least five days per week. He stands for up to one-and-a-half hours per day, taking short breaks when needed. During the school year, Donovan does homework while standing, and enjoys talking with his family and friends at eye level. His stander is equipped with casters, so Donovan’s family can move it within their home, allowing him to participate in various activities. While standing, he can also exercise his arms to keep strong for one of his favorite activities, floor hockey with his power wheelchair.
There are no known cures for the underlying myopathy associated with Muscular Dystrophy. But supportive therapies can reduce deleterious effects and improve quality of life. A stander should be part of a global management plan for treating DMD/BMD. ”
These excerpts were taken from Jason Kelecic’s article “Back To Play“, printed in the July 25th, 2011 Issue of Advance for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. The value of play for the child with a disability is often overlooked but is necessary for mental development and upper extremity muscle function and coordination. For more research supporting standing, visit the Research & Articles section of our website.
Are you a therapist who uses standing therapy with your Muscular Dystrophy clients? What benefits have you noticed?