There is a huge range of equipment on the market designed to make the life of your Little Champion easier. Your occupational therapist and physiotherapist will be best placed to advise you on the best equipment to fit your child’s specific needs and circumstances.
At Royds Withy King we work with specialist neuro-physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and chartered electronics engineers in the field of assistive technology to ensure our clients receive the best possible equipment to maximise their potential.
Below you will find more information on some of the equipment available and details of the pieces of equipment that our experts are recommending in relation to:
Aids to assist mobility
Mobility aids for Little Champions range from simple orthoses and walking frames to specialist powered wheelchairs. Finding the most appropriate and comfortable mobility aids for your child is vital for their growing independence, self-esteem and quality of life. Your physiotherapist and occupational therapist will understand your child’s particular needs and be able to recommend the best equipment.
Assisted sitting has the benefit of providing postural support. The right sitting support will depend on your child’s individual needs, and you should always seek advice from your own therapy team, but our physiotherapy and occupational therapy experts have been recommending:
The Panda Future R82
The Panda Future R82 which comes in two different versions. The standard version is for children who need support around their arms and shoulders. The active version is for children who require a little extra freedom of movement.Visit r82.org for more information.
The P-Pod by the Specialised Orthotic Services. This is the ultimate beanbag for children and adults and provides high levels of postural support.Visit specialisedorthoticservices.co.uk/product/p-pod for more information.
A standing frame allows a child to keep their hips and knees in a more extended and aligned position. Standing increases load bearing through the joints and aids hip development, digestion and circulation whilst providing pressure relief. If your child can stand with support, your therapy team can advise you of the most suitable standing frame to suit your child.
Leckey has a range of upright standing systems for all ages with different ability levels. Visit leckey.com for a full list of suppliers.
Moving is important for exercise, exploration and, most importantly, fun!
Mobility aids include:
- walking sticks which can help with standing, walking and weight bearing – some have tripod bases to provide more support, and they are available in a variety of materials and at a range of prices.
- forearm crutches can help those who need help to balance while walking.
- two-wheeled walkers (with four posts) enable slower speeds and more control for those who struggle to maintain balance – some walkers include built-in seats to enable the user to go from sitting to standing, and others include chest supports to help control the trunk. For those who cannot support their full body weight, suspension walkers include a harness attached to an overhead frame, and a motorised lift adjusts how much weight is borne by the frame.
- wheelchairs are suitable if your child cannot walk or cannot walk for sustained periods.
- manual wheelchairs are cheaper than powered wheelchairs but require the user to have some strength in their upper body and arms. Powered wheelchairs come with several different features depending on your needs and budget. They suit those with little upper body control or strength – they are heavier than manual wheelchairs but enable you to get about quickly and easily.
- running bikes and adapted trikes may be suitable for your child and provide a great way of getting around and having fun at the same time.
Everyone is different in terms of their ability to move about and your child’s occupational therapist and physiotherapist will be best placed to advise you but here is some of the equipment our experts are recommending:
A Kaye Walker can be used as both a walking training device and a community walking aid.Supplied by quest88.com
The Innowalk is a motorised standing device which allows children to exercise in an upright, weight bearing position.Supplied by madeformovement.com
Petra Running Bike
A Petra Running Bike can be used from ages 3-4 through to adulthood and allows the user to propel themselves along using their feet on the ground.Supplied by quest88.com
There are many adapted tricycles on the market and our physiotherapy experts recommend the Tomcat range (org) or the Quest88 range (quest88.com). An adapted trike may help your child exercise and make physiotherapy more fun.
Lifting a child can become back-breaking work so a hoist to assist with transfers can make a huge difference. Hoists or lifts can come as slings, seats or platforms to help Little Champions to move around spaces where it’s difficult to operate wheelchairs or walkers. Your occupational therapist will have a wealth of knowledge on hoists to fit your child’s particular needs and we recommend speaking to them about the right hoist for you. Here are some of the hoists that the occupational therapy experts we work with recommend:
The Symmetrikit Skyframe
The Symmetrikit Skyframe is an ideal permanent hoisting system and can be wall or ceiling mounted although free-standing options are available.Visit symmetrikit.com for more information.
Molift Smart Mobile Hoist
This is a hoist that is designed to be easily wheeled and transported to where it is required. It is perfect for home or travel. It folds up without using any tools.Visit etac.com for more information.
The ProMove Sling
The ProMove Sling is an incredibly light and portable moving and handling device that provides an alternative when you cannot access a hoist.Visit promove.uk.com for more information.
Orthoses and supportive footwear
Orthoses are tailored braces that support and strengthen affected areas, such as feet, ankles and knees. They are prescribed and fitted by your child’s health team. Getting shoes and boots to fit with orthoses can be a challenge. Some of the Little Champions with whom we work have got on well with:
- the easy-dressing range at Marks and Spencer – marksandspencer.com/l/kids/easy-dressing
- Piedro Boots – piedro-uk.co.uk
- Billy Footwear – specialkids.company/collections/billy-footwear
- Nike FlyEase – nike.com/gb/flyease
- Butler boots – thebutlerbrand.com
- MyMayu boots – mymayu.com
Aids to assist with drinking
For Little Champions who have a safe swallow, some of the families with whom we work have got on well with the Munchkin Miracle360 trainer cup.
Or the Nuby Sipeez 360 degree wonder maxi cupWebsite: nuby-uk.com
Aids to help sleep
Sleep is essential for all of us. It may be that your Little Champion would benefit from a specialist bed to help their sleep. Everyone is different and your occupational therapist will be able to advise you on the best bed for your child.
Some of the specialist beds available on the market include:
The Bakare Klearside Bed
The Bakare Klearside Bed is suitable for both children and adults. It allows your child full visibility around the room and you full visibility of your child without having to look over the top of the bed rails.
Visit bakare.co.uk for more information.
The Pippen Traveller
The Pippen Traveller bed is a safe portable bed which is ideal for staying overnight away from home.
Safesides Bed Surrounds
Safesides Bed Surrounds are inflatable bed surrounds which create all-round protection.
Visit livingmadeeasy.org.uk for more information.
The Symmetrisleep Sleep
The Symmetrisleep Sleep system enables people with movement difficulties to learn to lie straight by providing support where necessary when a person is lying down.Visit symmetrikit.com for more information.
If your child is having difficulty sleeping, speak to your child’s paediatrician. They may be able to provide medication to relax your child’s muscles or prescribe melatonin (a naturally occurring hormone which makes you feel tired), or refer your child to a sleep specialist who could help your child develop good habits for sleep.
Aids to help bathing
Astor Bannerman provide a range of height adjustable baths and accompanying devices such as powered seats and side doors to make bathing easier.
Visit astorbannerman.co.uk for more information.
Jiraffe Hygiene Toileting System
The Jiraffe Hygiene Toileting System has been designed to solve the toileting challenge. It is a seating system that can be wheeled over a toilet to allow the user to toilet in an upright position.
Visit jiraffe.org.uk for more information.
Sangenic Easiseal Pad Disposal Unit
The Sangenic Easiseal Pad Disposal Unit provides a hygienic way of disposing of nappies and incontinence pads.
Visit gompels.co.uk for more information.
Aids for swimming
Chailey Buoyancy Aid
A Chailey Buoyancy Aid supports the head and stabilises the whole upper body.
Supplied by Therapy World: therapyworld.org.uk
Incy Wincy Swimwear
Incontinence swimwear can be essential and is supplied by Incy Wincy: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may be able to find suitable second-hand equipment for your Little Champion. There are a couple of Facebook groups which specialise in second-hand equipment including:
- Special Needs Equipment ~ Buy Sell Swap UK ONLYWebsite: facebook.com/groups/SNEUK
- Disabled GearWebsite: facebook.com/DisabledGear
Similarly, you may be looking to donate equipment that you are no longer using. The charity Wheels for the World accept donated wheelchairs and mobility aids which then provide much needed mobility to adults and children across the globe.