MORE specialist computer games are set to be developed to help treat children with cerebral palsy after a pioneering project scooped a top award.
Youngsters with the condition have been encouraged to play specially-written Nintendo Wii games to help develop muscle control and coordination in their hands.
The Limbs Alive project, operated at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, invited 10 families to trials. Games differ to those available commercially as they are not as fast paced and complicated.
Research has shown that children are then encouraged to use their weaker hand and there is an improvement in co-ordination.
Occupational therapist Janice Pearse scooped the national Rompa Quality of Life award 2009 for her contribution towards the project, funded by charity the Children’s Foundation.
Janice said: “The award is a great achievement for the Limbs Alive project and the cash prize will help us continue our research to develop more games. The children very much enjoy the games and this form of therapy is really seeing results.” Byron Patterson, an 11-year-old pupil at Denbigh Community Primary School in Howden, is part of a small group taking part in the trials and plays games for about half an hour every night.
Mum Wendy, 31, said: “He can do this and play and receive his therapy at the same time not realising that he’s doing it. That’s the good thing about it, that he’s exercising without having to think about it.”