This section of Living made easy for children lists wheelchairs and related mobility accessories (cushions, clothing and gloves) for disabled children. This includes manual wheelchairs - both self-propelled and attendant propelled - and powered wheelchairs.
One wheelchair may not provide all the answers for your child. Some children may require two different types of wheelchair, each for a different range of activities - e.g. a self-propelled wheelchair for use indoors and for short distances, and a powered wheelchair for long distance outdoor use.
A wheelchair is not just a mode of transport, but a tool for an independent lifestyle. The right wheelchair can result in energy conservation for children, allowing enjoyment of other activities.
All children who have limited mobility and postural issues should be assessed by their local NHS wheelchair service by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist. This will ensure that the most appropriate seating and mobility equipment is recommended to encourage the development of skills and independence. Furthermore, children's growth and changes in body shape and the environment can be considered.
Some children however are not eligible to receive a wheelchair from the wheelchair service, therefore you may wish to read about alternative sources of funding.
Always remember that wheelchairs need to look good as well as fulfilling your child's mobility and postural needs. And, they should not only meet your child's needs, but should also be compatible with your families' needs and transport arrangements.
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