Goin' For a Rip (Early Powered Mobility)
Last month, the boys got to try out this little power car which is adapted to hold the positioning seats they need to stay upright (different ones for A & J) as well as be controlled by a single button switch. Axel’s configuration has a less supportive seat (because he can sit on his own now) and a small red button in the centre. Jaxon’s setup has a full support seat and a larger bright yellow button positioned off to his left side (he only voluntarily moves his left arm right now for activities).
The point of the car isn’t just as a fun toy. Various studies have shown that providing powered, independent mobility to children with physical disabilities has multiple benefits, from increased cognitive and language development later on, to increased social skills. At this age of 20 months (17 corrected), they are too small for actual wheelchairs, and it wouldn’t be practical right now with their skill level anyway (or size, as they’d outgrow it too fast). So, a car it is!!
We get to borrow this for free for 6 months in exchange for taking part in the study on early powered mobility. How cool is that?!
Since posting this on Instagram, I got a lot of messages from parents asking how they can get in the study, get one of these cars, etc. I’m not sure based on where you live, but ask your Physical Therapist as a first step. In Canada, we have a public and private system for PT. This is through our public PT at our local pediatric rehabilitation centre from the neuromotor program (aka “Cerebral Palsy clinic” is the old name). Another option would be to buy a power wheels car and have someone adapt it for your child, which basically just consists of building a seat to support their needs and connecting the power to a button/switch (simple enough to do for anyone handy!).
When we have to give this car back, I already have my eyes on buying this one and having my husband adapt it for them.. it’s a Mini Me version of his Jeep! 🙂
And now I’ll leave you with this… 😂