World Interaction

When you can’t control your arms and hands at all, basic tasks become a challenge. Despite what the science fiction shows portray, you unfortunately can’t just move or control an item by thinking at it. For me, the easiest way to do what I need is by using a mouth stick.

Unfortunately, for a lot of my activities of daily living, like eating and getting dressed, I must rely on a caregiver. However, some tasks, like operating a computer, or playing games, don’t require assistance after it is setup. For computer control, a mouth stick works very well. A regular keyboard and mouse can be accessed with a bedside table or something else so they are in reach. Growing up with using a stick, I am very familiar with it, and likely do more than someone just starting out should expect to.

My typing is about 30 words per minute, depending on what I’m doing, and I can play cards or other types of games. When I am in my wheelchair, I can operate light switches and do simple things like folding washcloths. The following video is one I made in late 2013 demonstrating my stick skills and what can be done with it.

As with anything, try various options and use what works best for your situation. Also be willing to adjust as time moves on and body conditions change.