Early provision of assistive technology for children with developmental challenges provides opportunities to expand on their potential for play, learning and interaction with others in various environments.
(B.OT, Postgrad Cert in Clinical Rehab)
Research confirms that social and emotional growth occurs through peer interaction and communication (Butler, 1991). Strollers are an ideal base option for infants and children with atypical developmental milestones. The combination of the stroller base with seating, application of accessories and when coupled with Hi-Lo base options, opportunities are provided to children to interact with others while expanding their repertoire of postural responses and sensori-motor experiences.
The increasing array of strollers, for young children with disabilities requires consideration of multiple factors relating to the child, parents / carers and lifestyle needs. These considerations include positioning and support required for a stable posture, features of the stroller to facilitate changes in posture for play and learning and other technical considerations to support lifestyle needs. Positioning supports can include an inclined or ramped seat, set at the required seat depth with inclusions such as a hip belt, backrest set at the correct height, lateral trunk supports, and positioning supports for the head. These allow a child with muscle weakness to remain seated in an upright posture while concentrating on play and turning their head to visually explore, further promoting interaction with their peers in a play group or siblings at home.
The Hoggi Bingo Evolution pushchair is a stroller option with a versatile seating system for more complex postures. The added multidirectional suspension system on Hoggi Bingo offers greater levels of comfort when accessing uneven ground. The ease of adjustment of the tilt and recline features provide quick changes from active postures to resting postures whether in the home or while on social outings.
Necessary medical equipment such as oxygen bottle holders, ventilator trays and IV poles may be easily attached for use. The addition of a Hi-Lo base for indoor use with these strollers extends the user friendliness of the system for multiple activity use.
The Bingo Stroller is commonly paired with the Spex Wonderseat seating system. The system can be utilised as an effective tool for early intervention for children with high postural needs. Its configurable seating and cushioning offers a high level of pressure relief and enables complex clients to get the most out of their supportive stroller.
Baby Dominic Grayson born with Giant Omphalocele, a rare birth defect, benefitted from the Hoggi Bingo stroller and seating at the young age of 6 weeks. Finally allowed home for Christmas, the young child had been in hospital since birth and never been outdoors until he was 11 months old. The use of the stroller and seating has facilitated Dominic’s positioning and promoted his upright posture ready for interaction with others.Children who experience difficulties managing sustained independent mobility benefit from strollers such as the Convaid Rodeo, Ormesa Bug or the Jazz Advantage. These strollers offer moderate level of supports on compact folding stroller frames, typically used for community access. The strollers feature a tilting mechanism which can encourage improved posture, passive correction of kyphosis and scolisis and increase sitting tolerance. These also have a reclining feature while maintaining a firm backrest and seat, footplate height adjustment and can be optioned with a large range of supportive accessories. Some of these also offer a Hi-Lo indoor base for home and school environments.
As the holiday season nears, it is important to consider strollers that stimulate recreational activities, while still providing a high level of support. The xRover Recreational Stroller, a multi terrain pushchair offers postural support promoting greater involvement in family recreational activities. The optional added accessories such as beach wheels, a ski set, jogging wheels and a bike attachment enable children to see the great outdoors from a new perspective.
When selecting strollers, it is always useful to consider additional factors such as weight, portability, safe user capacity to ensure it is suited to the weight of the child, maintenance including ease of cleaning, and available growth adjustment. User transfer needs or abilities and stroller stowage may also require further consideration. It is important to note, strollers or buggies for all terrain use offer greater stability but are typically larger in size.
As a committed supplier of AT equipment, we have extended the range to include a new lightweight option, the Mamalu. The all new Mamalu is a lightweight, durable stroller with growth adjustment. The simplicity, manoeuvrability, and ease of folding makes the Mamalu a smart choice for indoor and outdoor use.
If you are looking for a supportive, yet simpler stroller that will enable children to access the community with their family and carers, Astris PME’s range of basic strollers can meet your need. Whether it’s the Mamalu, the Ormesa Clip, the Thomashilfen Swifty or the Convaid Cruiser, the strollers are available in a range of strollers for children who require low/moderate support.
Astris PME are available to further explore a suitable stroller option for your child, including trials. Call 1300 131 884 or email today! Click HERE to explore Astris PME’s vast stroller/buggy range online!
Note: All strollers referred to in this article are available with a range of supportive accessories including a sun canopy.