As occupational therapists and mentors, we want our clients to be able to drive themselves at a young age as that is when they would naturally begin to be independently moving. If we are able to put a toddler into a power chair at a young age they are going to understand that despite their significant physical disabilities they are going to be capable of moving independently. The toddlers should begin to play with their peers with the communication devices and the power chairs on the playground and they will begin to understand that they are not any different from their able-bodied peers.
Our part as occupational therapists is going to fit the child into the seating to ensure that they are adequately supported to drive the chair and to be able to access the talker. The occupational therapist and the mentor will work with the child’s fitting and controls until they are at the right position for the child to be able to use the equipment adequately. We also want the child to have access to their communication device while driving whenever it is possible as this is how the child is going to be able to play with their peers.
Children who are mobile at a young age are going to understand that despite of their disabilities they are going to be able to participate in the same activities as their peers. The child is going to be able to walk to class with friends which helps them to feel like any other student in the hall. They are going to also be able to roll in front of the class to give oral presentations which makes them like any other student. If he or she can grow up communicating and independently going to places at school and at home as they mature, they are going to want more independence. All we professionals need to do is to set up the assistive technologies and watch the client grow into who they are going to be in life.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children