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One of the best ways for a child to achieve independence and confidence is through increased mobility. There are many aids available for helping children achieve maximum mobility. The aids you choose will depend on the severity of the child's condition, the child's muscle strength and gross motor skills, and the recommendations of your physician, physical therapist, and/or occupational therapist. Some mobility aids to consider are scooters, riding toys, and wheelchairs.
A scooter is a formed plastic or padded wooden board with four casters on the bottom. The child lies on his or her stomach and uses hands and knees to glide across the floor.
There are many inexpensive riding toys on the market. Fisher-Price® makes a number of small tricycles that can be easily adapted with seat belts, wooden blocks on the pedals for short legs, and back supports for trunk stability. Be sure to choose a tricycle that does not tip easily.
There are many excellent wheelchairs available for children. Consult your hospital supply store or your therapists concerning your child's specific needs. Be sure to consider the seat width and look for the most lightweight wheelchair available that meets your child's needs. Many attractive electric wheelchairs are on the market today. Naturally, they are much more expensive than a standard wheelchair and are more cumbersome. However, there are some who believe that the benefits of the enlarged world that opens up to a child in an electric wheelchair exceeds the loss of muscle tone and development that the child could achieve through pushing a manual wheelchair.