Since Emma is not able to move on her own yet we have decided to start thinking of getting her a power wheelchair. Her physical therapists are starting her on a Cooper Car that was converted for use with switches. To start we are only using the forward switch. This means that we plugged a switch into the car that moves the car forward when pushed. Eventually you can have switches for forward, reverse, right and left or a joystick for those directions or any other number of options but we are starting with forward to keep it simple before we make it complicated.
Here is a video of Emma on her first day of trying out the Cooper Car at the end of June 2010.
Not bad for her first try! In the beginning she kept looking behind her to see who was pushing her before she realized that the car moved by her touching the switch.
Since then Emma is much more accurate on pushing the switch to go forward when we tell her to go, but she has not really demonstrated her desire to take her hand off the switch when we tell her to stop - you know, so she won't run into a wall or any people! She is starting to slow down more and does stop occasionally, but it will take time to teach her the stop concept since she is just so excited that she can now move on her own and has very little desire to stop. Plus, she only gets to power around in this car for about an hour a month which makes for a long learning process.
I'm excited to see where this leads! Stay tuned.