In light of Disabilities Awareness Month this blog is going to discuss independence. As occupational therapists and mentors we have the capability of helping a client learn how to drive a power chair or work a switch to drive the chair. The children I work with start learning how to drive the power chair at the age of three in hopes that they will be able to drive independently at the age of seven. The ability to move one’s self around by the age of seven teaches the child that even though they are disabled they are still able to move independently.
As occupational therapists and mentors we have the ability to help children to learn how to drive the power chair. If they are able to get from one place to another they are going to be able to meet different aides in different classes by themselves which helps them blend in more with the general crowd. Driving themselves also gives a child the opportunity to walk to classes with their peers instead of an adult.
All of my mentees are in general classes which means that as much as it is possible we want them to drive independently to classes. The children I work with are able to give driving demonstrations to their peers on disabilities awareness week. They are able to talk in front of their classes about how driving a power chair is not that much different from them walking. As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to give that freedom and independence to our clients.
Until Next Time, Your Children