Marc Gunderson wrote in to show off the projects that he has done for his son Julian. Julian has Cerebral Palsy, which mainly manifests in difficulty in moving certain muscles and typically results in the person being confined to a wheelchair. Marc has turned into somewhat of a Tony Stark in this situation, creating impressive project after impressive project in order to help his son maintain muscle control and coordination, and in some cases, improve it.
Here are a few of the projects that he’s done, but you should really check out his site for more details.
Marc wanted a way to show Julian that he needed to attempt to keep equal pressure across both of the soles of his feet. This is to counter act Julian’s tendency to walk on tippy-toe. He has put multiple pressure sensors into some shoes connected via bluetooth to Julian’s phone. As he walks, this will remind him if he’s keeping his heels up too much.
Julian’s desire to play piano was a bit blunted when he struggled with the fine motor control necessary. Marc attacked this problem with a clever exercise device that allows Julian to work on his dexterity and fine control.
There are a few other projects on Marc’s site that you should check out, like a marble run that only works if Julian has spread his weight and posture correctly. You might be looking at this all and wondering if all of it actually helps Julian. These projects combined with Julian’s perseverance in maintaining his training have certainly shown that he can improve his dexterity. Check out these two videos.
Working on the website I came across the following video of Julian. It was in April of 2014, just 3 and a half years ago. I’ve watched it thousands of times now, because I can not believe this is our little Julian. How hard he has worked…how far he has come. He has worked so hard for so many years. No words could ever describe the admiration I have for him…
…and this is him this past weekend, walking the same stretch of living room! Amazement and admiration for this kid would be putting it mildly…he is my inspiration.