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Hardware Thread, Tablet PC for child with Cerebral Palsy in Technical; We have a child (8 year old) with Cerebral Palsy and may be getting some money from a charity for ...
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    eean's Avatar
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    Tablet PC for child with Cerebral Palsy

    We have a child (8 year old) with Cerebral Palsy and may be getting some money from a charity for a laptop and bits(£1-£3k, hopefully).
    I was thinking a tablet PC may be suitable. (She can use the stylus on her nintendo quite well!). Her aim isn't terribly good but it may just be good enough. I was thinking of one of those with the twisty screen so it could be used as a normal laptop too. (She has a joystick and she uses Clicker).
    So, anyone had any experience with these. I heard that some aren't very robust:
    1. What would you recommend? - Needs to have a long battery life and be robust.
    2. Do you have to use the stylus, or can you just use your finger?
    3. Is the stylus 'special' or can any object do? (We might be able to use a more grippable object).
    4. Are the screens hard? I'm thinking if she has a stylus in her hand when she goes into spasum could she push through and break the screen?

    Any advice welcome!
    Thanks.

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    eean's Avatar
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    Re: Tablet PC for child with Cerebral Palsy

    Sorry to be rude and bump this up a bit. Surely someone must have some expereince of tablet pcs? (Don't make me go down to Dixons and ask a spotty 15 year old! - A man has his pride!)

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    Re: Tablet PC for child with Cerebral Palsy

    Hi there.

    We were in the same position a couple of years ago. We have a son (now 16) who has cerebral palsy (hemiplegia with severe learning and behavioural problems). We were looking for some IT equipment for him and the Rowntree Trust stepped in and helped. We also opted for a tablet PC. We got a Toshiba at the time, but obviously there are much newer ones now. Even then it had a fairly robust "glass" front, and managed to survive tantrums and stuff that a normal laptop would die at.

    We were in PC World (yes- that place) last week and there is a great deal on a Toshiba Tablet right now (less than £800) that looks pretty good. Because our experience of tablet PCs is a little out of date you would be best going to somewhere like PC World and actually handling the equipment first, asking the staff to demonstrate etc and getting a feel for how robust the machine is.

    But yes. A tablet would be ideal.

    Good luck!

    Paul

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    I work in a special school and we did have one boy with cerebral palsy who had a laptop. It was a bit of nightmare because of the weight of the laptop. He had to drag the laptop from classroom to classroom in a suitcase with wheels on. The whole became a complete curse and it was almost a relief when he broke the laptop.

    Prehaps its worth getting advice from an occupational theraphist. There are grips that you can get to make everyday objects grippable. Also what is her eyesight like? Cerebral palsy can affect children in a wide range of ways.

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    Busybub's Avatar
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    If a normal PC setup is an option, may want to consider one of these:

    SMART - DT770

    Can be used with pen or finger, and on that basis is presumably more robust than a bog standard stylus-based device.

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    What about a ToughBook ?

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    How badly affected is the child? Have they had any proper professional assessment done? If it's any help. I have CP and poor motor control as well, and I can merrily run our Eval Dell Latitude tablet without issue.

    Handwriting recognition works OK, but it's something to watch in tablet mode..if it needs input, it'd ask for either handwriting (like newtons used to), OR you get a piddly little onscreen keyboard. As CP can affect motor control and handwriting, that might be an issue. I always use the onscreen KB..heh.

    Seems quite tough as a unit..not convinced of the screens longevity though if treated less than gently. Lid catch is utter pants as well.

    If you can, request an evaluation unit (as we did) or find an independant source of evaluation kit and advice for "less able" students. God, that phrasing makes me shudder.

    I was evaluated..again and again. I provided the primary/infants first BBC micro.. I blame that for getting me into IT..

    EDIT: Sod me, this thread is probably redundant now..hah..sorry about that..

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