What is an adaptive stroller?
An adaptive stroller is a type of stroller built for special needs individuals. Models are available for both children and adults. These strollers usually come with accessories to more comfortably position the individual. Many children begin using an adaptive stroller, rather than a regular stroller, around age 3 or 4, or when they become too tall for a regular stroller. Some adaptive strollers are actually easier to push than a regular stroller. Some adaptive strollers have all terrain wheels, which can be used at day camps, field trips, school/neighborhood events in the park or at school, etc. In addition, adaptive strollers can usually be fitted with special accessories, such as backrests and sunshades.
Where can I find adaptive strollers?
Adaptive strollers can be found at a variety of stores that carry special needs equipment. Some of these include:
- Achievements Products for Children
- Flag House
- Sammons Preston
- Other Online Resources:
When is the right time to switch from an adaptive stroller to a wheelchair?
Switching to a wheelchair can be an emotional decision, because in a sense you are acknowledging your child’s disability. Every person’s situation is unique, and there is not a set “right time” to switch to a wheelchair. For one child, he/she may be perfectly fine being in a stroller until the age of 9 or 10, whereas another child may not want to be in a stroller any longer than age 2. Each child is different, depending upon their maturity level and need/desire for independence.
Once the decision is made to switch to a wheelchair, be advised that it may take several months to actually get the wheelchair. Prior to purchasing a wheelchair, it is recommended that you find out what your durable medical equipment (DME) benefit will cover from your insurance. Some insurance companies have certain “in network” providers you must use to purchase your wheelchair, as well as certain procedures you must follow. For example, some providers will actually come out to your home to let you try out various wheelchairs, and/or some providers may require you to use a wheelchair for a certain amount of time (trial period) before purchasing the chair. In addition, it is recommended to have your PT and/or OT help you decide upon the right type of wheelchair, as well as getting fitted for proper seating in the wheelchair.