From the Editor: Giving Children Wings
April 2004 Issue
There are only two lasting bequests we
can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other,
--Hodding Carter, journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner.
Whether temporary or permanent, rehab professionals deal with children whose "wings" have been clipped because of disability. How do we help them fly again? And in cases of permanent disability, how to fly high despite that obstacle?
A friendly, appealing environment, plus a practitioner who knows how to establish trust and rapport with his or her smallest patients, can go a long way from turning a frightened, uncooperative child into a relaxed and compliant patient.
Creating a Child-Friendly Environment
One way to do this is having facility design and décor with kids in mind. This issue's feature article, "Kids Count! Designing a Child-Friendly Facility," describes how some practitioners put young patients at ease in a setting where they can have fun.
The physical environment is one part of the equation--the other part is the practitioner. Says Lisa Urso, CPO, quoted in a related article: "I have frequently seen practitioners beeline for the affected leg to be casted without easing into a working relationship with the child. The result is a scared little person who is labeled uncooperative or bratty." Urso shares her experiences in how she establishes rapport with her pediatric patients.
ACPOC: Education and Research
Research and experience in various aspects of improving orthotic and prosthetic care for children with limb loss and orthopedic disabilities also come through such organizations as the Association of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC). The organization's mission defined as: "To promote multidisciplinary team development and collaboration; to support research in children's prosthetic-orthotic care; and to disseminate information among and about children's clinics." For more information about ACPOC, visit www.acpoc.org