What can you do to give them a sense of independence? How do you manage difficulties that may arise? And is there anything you should be aware of?
Here at Loyal Lifts, we wish to support you in any way we can to provide safe and affordable Door-to-Door Wheelchair Accessible Transportation for your child, and we also wish to take the time to offer a few other ways in which you can help your child with using a wheelchair.
Five Ways To Help Children Use a Wheelchair
In this article, we will discuss five different ways in which you can assist your child in using a wheelchair.
1. Modify Your Home
There are many things that need to be taken into account when making your home comfortable for a child in a wheelchair. If your home’s main entrance has steps, install a ramp. If your home has two levels, move your child’s bedroom downstairs. Remodel your bathroom to make it easier for your child to get in and out of the shower, and install a bench inside the shower. Speak with your child’s pediatrician to determine what additional modifications they suggest.
Other common house modifications should include:
- Installing bars around the shower and the toilet.
- Removing rugs and carpeting.
- Lowering doorknobs.
- Arranging furniture in a way that makes it easier to maneuver a wheelchair
2. Talk With Your Family, Child’s Teachers, and Friends
Your child will already feel different due to needing a wheelchair. However, there are things people in your circle can do to make your child feel included. Let everyone know that you want your child included in the same activities as the other children, such as cousins, friends, and classmates, to the extent possible.
For example, watching movies downstairs, playing board games or video games, doing arts and crafts, going on a treasure hunt, basketball, and/or exercising. Make sure everyone keeps in mind that modifications may need to be made beforehand so that your child doesn’t feel left out.
3. Give Your Child Options
If your child is too young or doesn’t have the cognitive abilities to tell you what they want to do, plan accordingly. But, if your child can communicate with you and has clear interests, let them choose how they want to spend their day.
If they like to watch sports, find a game on TV or introduce them to adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball, hand cycling, kayaking, or wheelchair tennis. If they are more creative, enroll them in music, writing, or art lessons. Doing so will allow them to have as normal a childhood as possible and to enjoy themselves in the process. It also provides them with opportunities to excel at something they love.
4. Provide Them With Adaptive Materials
Which tools your child needs depends on their circumstances. They may include assistance technologies, art supplies, car seats, toys, furniture, bath support, lifts, or anything else their pediatrician or physical/occupational therapists may recommend (or that you see will help).
This will allow them greater mobility and help them perform routine tasks. They are great tools for both recreational and educational purposes, and give your child a better sense of control.
5. Encourage Independence
This one will depend on your child’s specific circumstances. But, if possible, find ways to teach your child to do things on their own. This includes getting dressed, preparing meals, and getting around the house.
If they need help, encourage them to ask for it. But if they don’t, let them try to do things. This gives them a sense of normalcy and accomplishment, and sets them up for an easier life as they grow up.
By the same token, inform your family and friends not to jump up from their chairs to do things for your child unless they specifically ask for help.
Wheelchair Travel Assistance Provided by Loyal Lifts Transportation Services
It is very important that you work within all of these five elements to assist your child in the use of a wheelchair; however, there are entirely new challenges that you will face when you are traveling with your child, from taking public transportation to flying on an airplane.
Transportation is what we do at Loyal Lifts. Allow us to take this worry away and assist you with your transportation needs.
If you are in the greater Asheville, NC, area, Loyal Lifts can meet the transportation needs of your child in a wheelchair. We provide Door-to-Door Wheelchair Accessible Transportation for you and your child with special emphasis on providing wheelchair-friendly vehicles and professional staff to assist you in any way we can to make your journey more pleasant.