Navigating the world of power mobility for Emma is a bit of a puzzle to me. I'm not sure why it feels so complicated for us since it seems like it comes together for other people much easier, but we are plowing forward with our complicated journey of power mobility.
- Emma's school PT is not skilled in power mobility so we are working on it during sessions at a satellite campus for the local children's hospital.
- Emma is lucky to have a powerchair to use thanks to a generous friend who passed it on to us. It fits her great but we are looking to explore alternative driving options outside of the joystick. Since Emma didn't purchase the chair there isn't any medical company really supporting this effort.
- Her private PT asked the main campus hospital and the durable medical equipment (DME) company to ask about switches for the powerchair. The local hospital can help us purchase some but don't have any to loan out. We would like to test out options to see what we should purchase. The DME company is not getting back to her on it. I asked the DME and it seems they likely don't have loaner items for us to test out before we order. So Emma is still using the joystick while we figure out a better way for her to learn to drive.
- We don't have an easy way to transport the powerchair, so for now we are leaving it at the satellite campus in a special closet and Emma uses it during her 2 sessions/week. That is working ok for now but we eventually plan to move it home once we get some switches to help her drive.
- A head switch behind her head that will allow her to move forward when pushed and will stop when she brings her head forward. Her head control has really improved with her new manual wheelchair and we both think that she has enough control to use her head in this fashion. AWESOME!
- A switch for left and a switch for right that she can activate with her hand. That way we will start with forward, left, and right to teach her how to drive. As she gets better we could explore more freedom of motion - perhaps with a joystick that includes a guide or a different handle for Emma to get a better fit for her motor skills.