alex-haney-xwkryosf8_c-unsplash

Around 73% of Americans two years and older play video games, accounting for 17% of entertainment and 11% of total time spent on recreation. Gaming has many benefits, including brain stimulation, stress relief, and improvement of problem-solving skills. Among children with cerebral palsy (CP), gaming can become a form of rehabilitation therapy. It offers enjoyable opportunities to participate in physical activities, improves hand dexterity, controls body movements, and develops social skills. If regulated properly, gaming therapy can become an effective method of enriching the quality of life of young individuals.

Motor Skills And Muscle Development

Cerebral palsy affects the motor skills and muscle tone of children, preventing coordinated and purposeful body movement. Therefore, it is vital to identify activities for kids with cerebral palsy that target muscle tone, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility. Gaming is one form of physical therapy that can enhance the motor skills and hand coordination of children with CP. However, one of the main considerations when introducing a child to video games is to choose the appropriate gaming system.

For example, movement-based or active video gaming systems are suitable for kids with CP.  They encourage your kids to do repetitive movements and keep them engaged due to the rewards they expect to receive when unlocking new levels or games. In addition, your child is going to improve hand dexterity and motor coordination when they use controllers, swing their arms, dance to music, or play sports. In other words, kids who participate in virtual gaming therapy can enhance their motor skills performance through increased intensity, frequency, and duration of movements.

Social Skills And Independence

Another significant benefit of playing video games is the development of social skills. When playing with siblings or friends, your kids are encouraged to talk and communicate with others. Whether conversing about strategies to get more points or simply sharing a few laughs, gaming is a pleasurable activity for children. Above all, playing video games can enhance their social and speech skills.

Furthermore, physical therapy through gaming can also help develop their independence if they are able to do things on their own. Controlling a mouse, standing, balancing, and coordinating movements in relation to a game give your children opportunities to develop their physical condition, imagination, and creativity.

Gaming therapy can become an effective and complementary rehabilitation treatment for children with cerebral palsy. It improves motor abilities, balance, dexterity, and coordination, as well as helps in cultivating social and speech skills.