November 2006 - Walkers, Standers and Gait Trainers
Family Resources: November 2006
One of the of the aims of the TRIS project is to raise awareness of rare trisomy conditions and the variety of situations and concerns families encounter. This page is intended to share resources that families can use in their daily lives.
We are now archiving previous months' Family Resources pages.
Walkers, Standers and Gait Trainers
From different brands to different styles, there are many adaptive equipment options on the market. In order to make finding the right equipment for your child easier, TRIS has complied information about several adaptive equipment products for you.
This month TRIS is providing information on walkers, standers, and gait trainers for you and your family.
Walkers generally provide support for individuals needing limited assistance with standing or balancing on their own. Walkers assist children with increased upper trunk support, weight bearing abilities, and leg positioning. Some walkers are designed with the frame in the front and some have the frame in the rear. In order to decide which best fits your child; a physical therapist should be involved during the final decision process. Many manufactures provide websites with information about their products and helpful tips to make the choice easier for you. Manufacturers of walkers include Kaye, Dynamico, Birillo, and Grillo.
Information found at each of these links include sizing options, indoor and outdoor modifications, additional accessories, and an OT and PT on staff to work directly with you and your therapist.
Standers offer the opportunity for graduated weight bearing, promote normal tone distribution and stability, and to facilitate selective extension of the spine. Standers also stimulate head-righting, weight-bearing on the forearms and mid-line hand use.
Another important aspect of standers is their ability to allow a child the opportunity for peer interaction. Most standers change in height so the product can be used over a period of years.
Gait trainers have been designed to provide support and stability for children who need more assistance than a conventional walker. Gait trainers have numerous benefits. Socially, gate trainers can give a child the opportunity to interact with their peers and move freely around their classroom, home, etc. to explore on their own. The versatility of gait trainers allow students to participate in numerous developmentally appropriate activities. Gait trainers come in a variety of sizes and models. Information about gait trainers can be found at the following manufacturer sites: Mulholland, Cricket, Snug Seat, Dynamico, Grillo, Birillo, and Leckey.
Making the Decision
When deciding which stander, walker, or gait trainer is right for your child, you will need to consult your child's Occupational and/or Physical therapist. They will assist you and make sure you choose the best equipment to support your children at their highest functioning level.
Manufacturers such as Adaptive Mall have Occupational and Physical Therapists staffed, ready to aid you in the decision and purchasing process.
Loan Libraries for Adaptive Equipment
TRIS also came across information about adaptive equipment loan libraries. Loan libraries offer an opportunity for your child to test out the equipment to see if it meets all of his/her needs. Many of the loan libraries require completion of an equipment loan form or a membership form, and pay a membership fee, some costing up to $100.00 per year. Information was also found on loan libraries accepting financial aid.
An example of loan libraries and the services they offer are IPAT Equipment Loan Libraries.