Do you have a special needs child who has difficulty gripping objects and therefore is unable to perform daily tasks independently? This can be frustrating for both the child and the parents. Many people take the little things like picking up a fork or cup for granted. But for special needs children, this can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, and can make them dependent on others for even the simplest of skills. This is where EazyHold’s universal cuff come into play.
What Are EazyHold Adaptive Utensils for Poor Hand Grasp?
EazyHold* was developed by three sisters in California named Merrily, Wendy, and Kerry Mellin. While Kerry was trying to sweep out her barn, her arthritis prevented her from being able to hold onto the broom. She decided to use duct tape to create a loop she could slip her hand through to help her grip the handle better. To her amazement, it worked and relieved the pain. While jokingly mentioning it to her sisters, they realized she might be on to something.
The gripping aid was first created for those who have arthritis. However, they soon realized there were many other groups of individuals out there with limited grip or poor hand function who would benefit from it such as those with cerebral palsy, limb loss, injuries, Rett syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke victims.
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EazyHold Is Born
After 20 prototypes and 1,000 samples, the three sisters finally came up with a product they felt met their expectations. They wanted something that would be soft and comfortable, yet sturdy and adaptable. It had to be easy to clean and not breed bacteria the way so many other products on the market do. Food-grade silicone was the answer. This created a product which is hypoallergenic, latex free, and able to be cleaned at high temperatures making it very hygienic.
How to Use EazyHold
These adaptive utensils are bands that come in various sizes, which you attach to items the child is unable to hold. Simply slip both loops over the object and move them up or down to adjust the fit. Once the hand is inserted under the band, the item doesn’t need to be grasped at all or with much effort. The size required depends on the age of the person and the product they are connecting it to. The company offers different packages ranging from two to seven in a pack.
Help for Daily Living
There are so many ways these can be used to help with daily living assistance! They would be useful at schools, hospitals, therapy, work, or home.
The following are a few suggestions:
Feeding– bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, forks, spoons
Personal Hygiene– toothbrush, hairbrush, shower heads that are handheld, scrub brush with a handle
Recreation– toys, music (such as drumsticks), jump rope, baseball bat, bike or scooter handles
Art/Writing– pens, pencils, markers, crayons, glue sticks, paint brushes
Chores– broom, mop, light sweeper, long-handled duster
How to Increase Self-Esteem in Children and the Benefits
Any time you can enable individuals to help themselves, there are going to be significant benefits. Special needs children especially struggle with low self-concept. Being able to do things independently is going to build self-esteem, which has a considerable impact on their behavior, how well they do in school, and their overall development. Using these bands is a step in the right direction in increasing self-esteem in these children.
Being included is something every person wants. When a child is not able to participate, he is left to sit and watch on the sidelines. The EazyHold universal cuff allows children to participate in activities at school and home they may not have been able to do before.
The world around us plays a big part in shaping a child’s development. Being able to have different experiences dramatically influences how children learn. EazyHold grip assistance allows them to do more for themselves as well as get involved with others; therefore, increasing their opportunities for a broader range of experiences.
A fun benefit is that these children are now able to express themselves creatively through activities such as writing, painting, drawing, and even some music. These are things they may not have thought possible before.
I was given a set of EazyHold bands to review. I gave them to a family with a child who has TAR Syndrome. TAR Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder where the radius bone in the arm is absent. In addition, their hands are often deformed making it very difficult for these children to hold on to anything.
One of the biggest challenges for the child who tested these was being able to write legibly and with comfort. This was one of the main reasons they were excited to try it out. Jared has great difficulty holding onto a pencil and applying pressure when writing because he doesn’t have a strong enough grip in his fingers. Also, because of the way his hands are rotated, he has to turn his body slightly sideways when writing to get into a good position. It is very uncomfortable to say the least!
When I asked the child if he felt the EazyHold universal cuff made a difference for him, the look on his face was priceless. He said it made writing so much easier! He had more control with the pencil because he was able to apply more pressure than before. He was able to sit in a much more comfortable position. Also, his grip was improving because his muscles were getting stronger. His hands were not as tired, and a big plus was that he wasn’t dropping his pencil anymore. His mother was especially happy about that was well.
Here is an example of a small drawing where you can see how he is able to apply more pressure when using the band. The top half was drawn while wearing the assistive device and the bottom without.
This child is incredibly creative and a great problem solver. He realized very quickly that he was going to get tired of pulling the pencil out of the band and putting it back in upside down every time he needed to erase something. He figured out how to attach a second band with an upside down pencil in it resting over the back of his hand. When he needed to erase, he would flip the second pencil over his hand, grab it to erase, and then flip it back over his hand when he was done.
Below is a video demonstrating how he did this.
One thing to note is to make sure the logo side of the band is facing away from the hand. It can rub when worn for a long time and begin to hurt. Also, choosing the proper size band is important. If it’s too small, it can be too tight.
If you are interested in learning more about this product, please go to EazyHold* and look around. They have lots of pictures and videos showing the many ways people are using them.
Jared and his mother said they would definitely recommend EazyHold to others! This universal cuff was a huge help in assisting Jared with his writing. When you look at what all the EazyHold can do for someone, the quality of the product, as well as the benefits it can produce, it really is the gold standard of assistive devices.
Do you have a child with poor hand grasp? Do you think something like this would help? Let me know in the comments below.