Thursday, October 05, 2006
Check out the wheels!
William got some new red, shiney wheels today! Check out his smart wheelchair! Again, what a grown up boy! We thought we were getting a mobile seating system, a bit like the chair he now has at home. However, after assessment and a long discussion with the wheelchair assessor we decided to for this self- propelled chair. He has some extra padding to support him and a harness. A special neoprene band has been ordered that can be used as a support for his back by holding it to the chair when he is tired. However, we have also been told to give him some times with just the lap belt to help him develop sitting skills. The plan is that he will now learn to self-propel the chair so he can have some indepence when he is on his TPN and when he is too tired and wobbly to walk. This is great for him and he has already started playing at it. The arms come off so he can reach the wheels better. By learning to self-propel, he will also build up and strengthen some of the muscles in his chest and upper body. We hope that this will, eventually, help compensate for his weak and wobbly pelvis, at least when he is sitting, as the top of the body can help pull things straight.
The chair has had some interesting reactions. A prolonged "Ah" is something we have heard the most. This has come from groups of secondary school girls, groups of Mums in the playground, woman at bus stops...all of which has stopped their conversations to exclaim. It is strange and also something I have always found difficult to deal with. He is cute, he is sweet and he looks very cute in his new chair! Strangers remarking on this is fine. However, I am only too aware that the day will come when strangers no longer think that his wheelchair, wobbly walk and spasms when he is happy and excited are cute, least of all his display of agitation. In only hope the cute phase lasts as long as possible and perhaps by the time it is over he will have developed a personality strong enough personality to be more dominant than his physical differences - somehow I think he is well on his way to that!