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Now stay at home dad

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Hello everyone

I'm losing strength in my hand that I use to steer my wheelchair and was curious if any one uses or has used alternatives. I think they have one that you use your head, one that you use your tongue and one with your breath. I have even seen one where you use eyegaze through your tablet. I have clinic next week and want make sure I get a referral for something to help.. Even if they usually get denied.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts ;)
David

Eye gaze controlled Power wheelchair | ATandMe
 

GregK

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My f3 permobile has a head array that allows full functionality by tapping and/or holding my head against the pads.

The headrest and two temple pads work for selection. Sorry, I don't know the brand, but your tech should be familiar.

This works well, if not as quickly as a hand.
 

Now stay at home dad

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Hi Greg, thanks for the knowledge. I have looked at those on Permobil website and the head rest looks a little smaller than the standard one, is that true? If so, does that make it less comfortable for you? I sleep in mine a lot and use every inch of that head rest.

Thank you
 

GregK

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My headrest is smaller. It's also as soft as a rock.

But another PWC tech told me there's an alternate but equal product that has a soft headrest.
 

lgelb

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David, if the therapist at the clinic submits proper documentation showing that you can no longer steer with your hand, but can use another method, insurance should not withhold authorization. All the methods you listed have their tradeoffs, but it takes careful evaluation to choose the best one (which may stlll change in future).

With ALS, often your breathing will weaken sooner than your ability to use your tongue, head or eyes, which could weigh against sip 'n' puff. But again, you should be evaluated to see what is best for you.

Best,
Laurie
 

MToole

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I currently use the Switch-It Dual Pro head array with the circular pads and a mode switch. It is a nice controller because it has proportional controls.

Before that I had a loner Switch-It switched head array to test if I would be able to use it.

When the chair was ordered, I had good but not full hand movement. The chair was originally equipped with a Switch-It mini proportional joystick. If I recall correctly, I was able to use this joystick for between one year and one and a half years before I couldn't use my fingers anymore.

Here is a link to the head control web page;

Head Controls by Switch-It | Sunrise Medical

My head control was covered by insurance. I had a evaluation by the occupational or physical therapist, I don't remember which one she is, and my seating guy did the paperwork.

Matt
 
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