Keeping independence

Despite the challenges of living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), it is possible to have a productive, creative and fulfilling life. In fact, more and more young adults with DMD are attending university, pursuing rewarding careers and having families of their own.

As DMD progresses, a variety of lifestyle adjustments and adaptive technologies can help with everyday tasks:

Home adjustments:
such as ramps, wider doorways and stairlifts, to help make moving around the house as easy as possible.1–3

Mobility devices:
such as braces, walkers, motorised scooters or wheelchairs, to go places without having to rely on others.3,4

Alternative schools:
include either more accessible and accommodating mainstream schools or special education schools.3

Ask your doctor to put you in touch with an occupational therapist. These are professionals trained to help adapt the environment and equip your child or young person with the skills to perform everyday activities

1. Muscular Dystrophy UK. Adaptations manual: for children and adults with muscle-wasting conditions. Available at http://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/INF23-A-%C2%AD-Adapt-web.pdf [last accessed March 2021].
2. Muscular Dystrophy Association. Accessible living: the comforts of home. Available at https://www.mda.org/quest/article/accessible-living-comforts-home [last accessed March 2021].
3. Duchenne UK. Decipha – education support. Available at https://www.duchenneuk.org/your-roadmap-for-life [last accessed March 2021].
4. NYU Langone Health. Mobility aids & orthotic devices for muscular dystrophy. Available at https://nyulangone.org/conditions/muscular-dystrophy/treatments/mobility-aids-orthotic-devices-for-muscular-dystrophy [last accessed March 2021].

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