Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Very Special, Soft Hand Splint

During an IEP meeting one student's mom asked if anything could be done for her daughter's hands, to open them up and keep them dry.  This high schooler in a class for students with significant intellectual disabilities keeps every joint of her body in serious flexion and her hands are no exception.  You can see what has happened to her hands over time and she cries when you gently perform the slightest range of motion.

I adapted my Play-Doh fidget toy Fidget Toy post and made a soft splint.  Same fun shamrock tights but cut in a longer tube, filled with 1/2" cubes cut-up from a brand-new kitchen sponge, with the mass of sponge cubes secured by single knots on both sides.  The sponge-filled section is squeezed almost flat, then guided gently into the student's palm.  The sponge expands slightly to help open the palm, a little.

The student tolerated the soft splint, better on her right hand than her left.  After 10 minutes of wearing the soft splint on her right hand I noted a little indentation on the ulnar side of her palm and it probably was from the pressure of the knot.  So, I'll have to remove the knots and sew the fabric tube closed to the right and left of the sponge cube mass.

So, it might work!  Will have to adapt the design and try it again, checking for reddened areas, before I instruct the school staff and share the idea with mom for home use.

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