Ben doesn’t walk yet, and I suspect that it will be a few years before he does. Because he is so small, we’ve gotten away with transporting him most places in an umbrella stroller. After all, they’re lightweight, ultra-portable, and cheap.
Lately, however, we’re starting to realize that they aren’t such a great long-term option for Ben anymore. He is getting bigger, and his posture isn’t the best in an umbrella stroller. Also, they are sometimes hard to steer, and they force the adult pushing them to adopt a slightly stooped posture (which is hard on the lower back). We did have a larger Jeep jogging stroller, however the seat back is broken, and it was rather bulky and cumbersome to use. Ditto with the double stroller that we have – it’s just not practical to take most places, and Nate is just not interested in riding in a stroller anymore.
The physical therapists at Ben’s school suggested that we look into getting him a more durable wheelchair or stroller. We went with one of the local medical supply companies, and they came out to Ben’s school one day, measured him, and gave us some options that would fit his body. His therapists at school recommended the Convaid brand, so that’s what we got a Convaid Scout. We placed the order several months ago, and it finally came in on Monday!
The representative from the medical supplier came out to help us adjust the straps, etc. At first Ben wasn’t too sure…
…but then he decided that he definitely liked it!
He was proud to show off his new wheels at school on Tuesday. Nate was happy to demonstrate how easy it is to push.
So far, we really like Ben’s new wheelchair/stroller.
It is lightweight, folds up quickly and easily, and fits in the trunk of either of our vans. It rides higher than an umbrella stroller, so it’s easier on Mom’s and Dad’s backs. And it steers wonderfully! The big boys love to push him around in it. It is also “transit ready”, which means that it can be strapped on to Ben’s bus for transportation to and from school (via the red rings visible in the photo above). We think we will start sending Ben on the bus this summer, so we’ll see how it goes. We got Ben’s pediatrician to fill out a handicap parking permit for him, but I have yet to mail it in.
We were fortunate that between our private insurance and Pennsylvania Medical Assistance, we had no out-of-pocket expense at all. It also appears that because Ben is so little, we’ll be able to use this wheelchair for awhile.
Of course, I’m still hoping that Ben will walk someday. I suppose time will tell, but for now I think we have a good solution.