I understand why- disability is a niche market, there are less people to sell to. Profit margins need to reflect the simple fact that less will be sold. However, we have come up with a few examples of things that have been ‘cobbled together’ to provide opportunities for Charlie without the prohibitive cost.
We will add these as we can…
A typical balance bike would be completely useless to Charlie- we bought one hoping he might like it but his legs were too tight and his tendency to cross his legs meant he had no chance. Especially as Charlie’s tone increases when he is unconfident he found that the bike was more distressing than fun. However, as there are no pedals I thought it had potential! I found some stabilisers at Halfords to put on- as they kept it up-right Charlie actually felt more confident and his tone reduced. He isn’t great on it but he certainly can make it go!
I know the idea of a balance bike is to balance but the stabilisers really help and Charlie feels he has a ‘bike’. Instead of hundreds of pounds Charlie’s modified bike cost very little.
Across Charlie’s play room we strung some rope. My idea was to provide parallel bars like you might find in a gym or physio suite. I wanted to make them cheap but also removable and rope made that easy. It also had the added benefit of moving (less when pulled tight, more when slack), this makes Charlie have to concentrate and helps his dynamic balance. He loves being able to get from one side of the room to the other- we set it so he had a little kitchen on one side and a till on the other, welcome to Charlie’s Café!
The ropes are tightened an knotted to some hooks fixed on to the wall. They were bought from Ikea and fastened with 4x plasterboard fixings and screws. The rope was bought from a garden centre- it is smooth nylon and stretches with use so we do have to tighten it. Lou worries Charlie will garrotte himself but he hasn’t yet…
More to follow….