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Thread: Equipment for Kids

  1. #1

    Equipment for Kids

    Some parents have expressed a wish for a subcategory for Equipment for kids. While we can create a sub-forum for this purpose, it would just segregate the discussion on this forum. So, for the time being, I have created a sticky topic so that parents can post their concerns and questions about equipment for kids. If this topic grows large enough, perhaps we can create a subforum or a separate forum. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Ive been trying to think of fun mods to do with my son's chair once we get it (TOMORROW YEAH!!!). This is his first manual. What have you guys done?
    Aspergers,hypotonic CP, Autonomic Issues.

    Disney OBSESSED family

  3. #3
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Central Florida
    WC Mom, although I'm not a kid, I am a kid at heart...on my 1st wheelchair, I had wheelie bars that I modified with rollerblade wheels...they were ULTRA stable and I could actually DO wheelies on them, plus be able to go over rough terrain if someone rolled me backwards. Somewhere in my old posts here there are some pics, but it's really simple to convert. If you want more info, please feel free to ask...

    I guess I should have asked first, but what kind of chair is he getting? I've been a little out of the loop...You can really customize it to his personality with simple everyday things. I use the bicycle section at Wal-Mart for A LOT of stuff...

    ETA: I see he's an "Aspy" I bet he's amazing & is always surprising you. Have you heard of the Partners in Policymaking program? You sound like you'd be a perfect candidate for it. It's a wonderful program.
    Last edited by Broknwing; 11-18-2010 at 12:09 AM.
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  4. #4
    No, never heard of that and yes, life with an Aspie is never dull

    The chair came in today! It's the Razorblade Jr with a custom seat. I will post pics.
    Aspergers,hypotonic CP, Autonomic Issues.

    Disney OBSESSED family

  5. #5
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Central Florida
    Can't wait to see the pics. Here's the info Partners for you. Partners in Policymaking nat'l Home Page

    List of programs by state w/contact info

    It's an amazing advocacy program & from what I've read of your posts you would be a great candidate. The class I went through was a May-Oct class(6months 1 weekend/month). Each state handles their program differently, I'm in FL & am still in contact with the woman who organizes and teaches the program. The people are a combination of self-advocates(such as me), parent advocates, educators & people in the medical profession. All in some level of advocacy for the disabled, specifically developmentally disabled.

    I hope that the new chair is everything you guys expect it to be.

    Oh, and "TireFlys" and anything for the spokes from the bike department will probably TOTALLY thrill him
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  6. #6
    The pics are in a seperate thread
    Aspergers,hypotonic CP, Autonomic Issues.

    Disney OBSESSED family

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Perth, Western Australia
    Great idea for a sticky /'s some info that I put together a couple of years ago for another para child that we met. Apologies for the words being centered around Perth, Australia, but that's where we live!

    Approx cost in Jan 2008 – USD1500 for bike, $900 shipping to Perth airport
    Make/model: InvacareTop End XLT Jr.
    Contact Details:David Lee at Bike-On in the US

    • Shipped complete. The only things to assemble are the 2 rear wheels, which are “quick release” type, so very easy to attach.
    • The only modification I made to the bike was to reverse the direction of the foot supports, which probably isn’t usually required. (Nov 2010 Update: we've since changed the foot/leg supports back round again, as my son's legs are now long enough).
    • Bike-On put big stickers on the box saying that the bike is a wheelchair, which should mean that duty is not payable. When the customs inspected the box, they said it was a bike, and that duty should be paid. I said it was for my paraplegic son, so it does act as a wheelchair, and they accepted my reasoning, so saved a bit of money.
    • Bike is rated to take someone weighing up to 114kgs, so no chance of most children outgrowing this bike!
    • Dave at Bike-On was great - very helpful.

    Problems: Customs at Perth airport mean that you need to go there and get the declaration forms (once the bike has arrived), and then the customs people take 24 hours to approve the bike. So don’t expect to go and pick the bike up on the same day it arrives. Due to this problem they may try and charge you storage. They didn’t in my case as I argued (loudly!) with them that it wasn’t my fault that customs needed 24 hours to inspect the box.

    Levo Standing Wheelchair

    Cost in Jun 2008 – $4000 for a reconditioned model, which included delivery to Perth (I picked it up from O’Connor). New cost was $9000 in Feb 2008.
    Make/model: They ask for detailed measurements of your child, and ensure that the wheelchair is sized appropriately.
    Website: or
    Contact Details: Darren Hill, Director of Mobility Innovations in Sydney, is the licenced agent in Australia.
    p 1300 853 751
    f (02)9679 0708
    m 0415 519 519

    • Shipped complete. Just had to work out how to attach the battery and electric connections, which weren’t that obvious, but managed in the end (easy to do when you know how!).
    • Took about 4 weeks for delivery.
    • My son uses the chair all the time at pre-primary, and we use it when he goes to the toilet (catheters).
    • We will look at getting a larger model very soon, as the one he currently has has small wheels (the Kid Model) that don’t make it easy to move fast outside, but are perfect for school conditions, where he needs to get under very low desks. (Nov 2010 update: we got the upgraded size change made at the beginning of 2010...another $2000 to do, but worth it when my son moved to the primary school, where the desks were tall enough that the larger chair could still fit underneath).
    • Battery lasts for several days before recharging is necessary. Need to remember to take the charger with you if you travel with the chair – I forgot when we went to Brisbane last time, and the battery ran out a couple of days before we returned.
    • The chair doesn’t come with a seat cushion, so you will need to supply your own.
    Problems: One minor one – just need to ensure that toes don’t get trapped in the footplate when standing up. We always ensure my son wears his AFOs if he is standing, but they can get stuck sometimes. Wearing shoes will prevent toes etc getting trapped, and the heavier the person, the less likely it will happen. (Nov 2010 update: we haven't had that problem in ages, and my son doesn't usually wear AFOs at the moment).


    Approx cost in Jan 2008 – $69 for plasmacar, $70 for rollerblade wheels
    Contact Details: We bought two from Gymbus HQ in Osbourne Park.

    • Great for our son inside and outside our house. Keeps his hamstrings stretched, particularly when he discovered that he could put one hand on the floor and push himself along to go even faster. Also strengthens and straightens his back, and good for balance/coordination.
    • You need to work out a way of tying his legs/feet on the plasmacar. It is fairly easy to tie them on with a belt – we used the abdominal binder that Lochan had in hospital, since he never used the binder for his stomach!
    Problems: We found that the plastic wheels on the car were ok, but did some damage to our floorboards (in fairness to the manufacturer, it says not to use them on hardwood floors), and the plastic wheels are noisy. So I bought some rollerblade wheels from Morley Rollerdome, which cost as much as the plasmacar itself unfortunately, but I am sure if you shop around you can get cheaper ones. The new wheels make the plasmacars much faster, and definitely quieter! The only thing to check is that the rear wheels are not too big - so take the plasmacar with you to make sure they will fit. The front ones can be bigger than the back ones. You will need to take the wheel bearings out of the plastic wheels and put them into the new wheels (prise them out of the plastic wheels using a screwdriver, and push them into the new wheels - sounds complicated, but it is easy once you do the first one!). One advantage of buying the wheels from the rollerdome is that the owners let my son go on the "rink" on the plasmacar (they would also let him go on in his chair, but he prefers the plasmacar).

    Project Walk (US name) / Walk-On (Brisbane/Sydney name)
    Website: for US, and for Brisbane
    Contact Details: Emma Dayman in Brisbane –

    Good exercise programme, specifically designed for paraplegics and quadriplegics. Whether or not you believe all of the things will work/improve, it is all exercise based, so is definitely good regardless of the outcome. Lots of leg movement and trunk stability exercises.
    Lochan now uses one of the trainers at the Herb Graham centre (where Wheelchair Sports is) in Mirabooka, while we wait for WalkOn to come to Perth (currently scheduled for 2011, fingers crossed!).

    Problems: Probably cost.

    Other things I can think of that we've got since I wrote the words above include:
    Free Wheel - lots of info already on carecure. Very beneficial, and can be adapted to fit a child's folding chair.
    Quad bike - we've used a 50cc quad bike, with small mods to the footrest (to hold his feet in place), and seat (to stop him slipping off sideways).
    Shower chair/ commode - might sound unstable, but we've always used a camping chair, with a hole cut in the seat and a seive / colander beneath. We were offered a "hospital-like" seat, but the camping chair is very cheap, stronger than it looks, stable when my son is sitting in it (we lift him in/out), and folds up very small for travelling.

    That's all for now, but I'm sure I will think of some other things too, like the Wheelchair Sports that my son goes to every week, called "little dribblers" - fantastic sporting/socialising for him, with about 12-15 other kids going there each week too. I know that we are very lucky having that go on in Perth - I don't think there is any other state in Australia offers as good a program for small kids (youngest is about 3, oldest about 12...after that they move up into the basketball team(s)).

    Hope this information helps a few people with some ideas. I know that I had to find most of it out from scratch, as I didn't know about this website at that time!
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  8. #8

    Equipment for Kids

    Cool, I have squirrels outside my house, which makes me wonder if anyone keeps squirrels as pets. Be good to the squirrels they are cute.

  9. #9
    THis is a great idea-just what i would have needed 2 years ago and hopefully now will get a chance to help others.and as the children are growing, needs change and i will more than likely be looking for info then.Have made a list of noirin's equipment-took a long time! and hope i have attached successfuly-tried to cut and paste which is usually as far as my computer expertise allows.
    Any questions feel free to PM and thanks Gordy for yours.

    Attachment 38015

  10. #10
    Forgot to mention plasma car. Have seen it in action but not tried. too scared and dont think balance would be good enough but will reconsider. Have tumbleform jet mobile-like a prone skateboard- but hard to push and not much fun-mainly used in therapy(treasure hunts) to get her lying on tummy and push with arms and strenghthen between shoulder blades.

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