Mobility help for a disabled child

Child and woman smiling

Introduction

Every parent wants their child to get the most out of life. Part of this means being able to visit new places and do new things.

But if your child has a disability, it can be hard to share with them the experiences that so many families take for granted. Assisting your child to and from nursery or school can be difficult enough, let alone taking them further afield or enabling them to play with friends.

But there is help out there – more than you might think. Simple walking aids and other types of mobility equipment can really make a difference and dramatically improve the quality of your child’s life.

Extra information

The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) is a national charity that helps people of all ages, and also carers and health professionals. Because the number of disabled children in the UK has been steadily rising, it recently launched a special section on its website called ‘Living Made Easy for Children’.

Mobility is one of the website’s most looked-at sections. There, you can find detailed information on walking equipment, standing frames, wheelchairs and accessories, bicycles and tricycles, buggies and accessories, and trolleys, carts and scooter boards.

DLF doesn’t sell products, but it can tell you exactly what is available and how suitable it will be in your specific circumstances. It can also tell you where you can obtain equipment, how much it might cost, and whether there might be any sources of funding to which you can apply.

How to make a magic moment

Imagine taking your child to the seaside for the first time, accompanying them to the park or simply seeing them enjoy safe play in your front room or back garden. These are the kind of magic moments that can be possible with the aid of mobility equipment.

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Top tips

  • When obtaining equipment for a disabled child, it is always important to involve the occupational therapist (OT) and/or physiotherapist working with them to ensure that the equipment suits their capabilities and is properly adjusted.Make use of your Social Services – they will be able to arrange an assessment by an OT, who can also review your child’s environment and lifestyle.Find out if there is a charity devoted to the specific disability affecting you or your child.When obtaining equipment for a disabled child, it is always important to involve the occupational therapist (OT) and/or physiotherapist working with them to ensure that the equipment suits their capabilities and is properly adjusted.Make use of your Social Services – they will be able to arrange an assessment by an OT, who can also review your child’s environment and lifestyle.Find out if there is a charity devoted to the specific disability affecting you or your child.

Expert opinion

In a complex world where new equipment is being developed on a regular basis, an effective and authoritative source of advice is essential.

Sir Bert Massie (CBE), DLF Vice-President

Parent's tale

My son is severely disabled. We contacted DLF, and one of their occupational therapists told us about equipment that could help and which we subsequently purchased. We felt empowered, and our son’s life was enriched.

Pam, London