Kaden has a form of muscular dystrophy which basically renders him very weak! He is the sweetest little thing. Smart. Adorable. And has a great set of parents, grandparents, aunts, friends, neighbors, cousins, etc.... he is a LOVED little boy!
So, at the ripe ol' age of 18 months, his mom decided he was ready to try a power wheelchair. She is a wise one! Most people wait, really, way to long to make that decision. First, there is a deep emotional need to cling to the possibility of your child walking. Or at least, that has been my experience dealing with handicapped children for the past 16 years. Then, there is typically a time where the parent knows they will eventually have to think about a chair, but choose something that looks more like a stroller. Usuallly because they like the look of normalcy about it. I totally understand!
Hardly EVER does an 18 month old go right on into a fancy chair like this! But... Kaden is no regular 18 month old!
His mom and I agree, he is ready to rock this power chair!! And it is the Cadillac of power wheelchairs. Think, oh.... maybe a Toyota Four Runner, or a fancy jeep, or... you get the picture. And I am talking comparable pricing here!
So, the big day arrived, and it was Kaden's turn to try out his new set of wheels. This vendor drove down from Jackson, TN to let Kaden preview it. Mr. Gary, in the red shirt, and I have worked together for over 15 years, and he is my go-to guy for any really involved wheelchairs! He has got it going on. ANd if someone needs anything custom made, Mr. Gary can make it work for them!
It didn't take long, and Kaden was off to the races with his new set of wheels. He got the hang of the joystick, but couldn't really get the whole go forward idea.
At this point it is as important that he just understands the cause and effect of the ride than to actually steer it. For Kaden, this means independence. It means moving through space when and where he wants to go. It means a child who can come to mom when he so desires, can go to his room to play, can chase his dog in the yard, and who can keep up with his peers at school.