Last week I picked up William’s new walker in the city. We have been looking forward to this for over two months now, since we returned the loaner and placed the order. Although everything didn’t go as planned- the salesman ordered the wrong size and we will have to wait another 4-6 weeks for it, but the loaner is ours until it comes in- we are happy that we have the one we have, and William is once again enjoying walking and running around like all the other little kids.
Prior to this walker, William was using an R82 Pony Walker that was on loan from the government home visiting program. We received the yellow Pony in April 2015 and he took to it immediately with a big smile on his face, finally able to be independent and go where he wanted to go. He would scoot around the kitchen and pull everything out of the drawers, open cupboards and explore his environment just like a typical two year old. He especially loved to feed the dog and would go to the cupboard where we keep the food bin anytime Clyde’s dish was empty. In short, he was thrilled. I quickly learned what mothers of typical toddlers meant when they looked exasperated and exclaimed “he’s into EVERYTHING!”. Out came all of the child safety devices I had been given and purchased, and our house quickly became “child proofed”. Our appliances also became dented and our drywall gouged… But he was happy.
As his walking skills, balance and overall strength improved, the Pony lost it’s lustre and William became less interested in it, preferring to have us support his torso as he walked around the house. This was a good thing, but was extremely hard on our backs and didn’t give either party the independence they needed. I wanted him to be occupied while I did things, and he needed to be free to go where his little mind wanted to go.
In February of this year we transitioned to a new therapy team as William had aged out of the previous program that loaned us the Pony. One of the first things they did was set up an appointment for us to come to their home base, the centre for children with special needs, and try out different walkers to see what William took to, and what his needs were. The previous therapy program allowed us to keep the Pony until we got a new walker. Once at our test-drive appointment, we put William in 4-5 different models, and it was quickly apparent which one he liked the best, the Rifton Pacer. It wasn’t the model my husband and I and the therapy team had discussed, but it was the one William had the biggest smiles in, tore up and down the hallway in and was able to manoeuvre the easiest. Fortunately we were able to take the Pacer home with us on trial for two weeks, just to be absolutely sure before purchasing it. This was a big deal to me, as assistive devices like this are very expensive and there are no returns- we needed to be 100% sure this was the one! Luckily we got it right the first time, and when I returned the walker to the sales rep two weeks later, we ordered William’s very own.
Since picking up the Pacer we have gone to explore the library (and discovered the water fountain!), and now are at my parents’ farm running around outside. William is happy to scoot around and explore his environment in his new walker and has a renewed interest in going in a mobility device. Everyone is happy 🙂