If your baby is born without a hand on one of their arms, your main worry will be helping them to adjust and have the best life possible, even with only one hand. There are decisions that you will have to make when your child is young in order to make the adjustment easier as they are older. Here are some decisions that you will need to make to help your child learn with one hand.
Determine if extra surgery is needed
If your child has a hand that did not completely form, they may have finger buds or some form of a hand that is still attached to their arm. When your child is still an infant, it may be a good idea to determine if some of this unformed structure should be removed or if your child will be able to use their arm and hand as is. A pediatric plastic surgeon will be able to let you know how your child's arm will be best used. For more information on pediatric plastic surgery, contact a clinic like Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.
Determine the type of physical therapy
Once a child starts to use their hands, including reaching, holding themselves up, and holding objects, you may notice them having a little bit of trouble. When your child starts to use their hands more, you may want to send them to therapy. Some parents would prefer to focus on aiding their child in operating the world around them one handed. Other parents may want to teach their children to use the rest of their body, including their feet, neck, and head, to help substitute for their missing hand. Determine the type of physical therapy that you want your child to go through based on how you see them currently operating. Also, talk to your child's pediatrician about therapy for your young child and when to start.
Check out bionic limb
One of the best decisions that you can make for your child is getting them started with robotic limbs. If your child starts school learning how to use a robotic limb, by the time they are heading to middle school, the limb will be completely natural to them. In order for your child to get used to the limb, they will need to be fitted for the limb and go through therapy specifically to learn to use their new hand. Deciding if your child should wear the hand all the time or if they should wear it only at school and sports or outside activities can come after you have seen your child operate with this hand.