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Old 11-13-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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need help helping a friend with a SN child. please! UPDATE***in op :)

UPDATE*** well we got there with all our tools and pool noodles and cool looking duct tape to find that her mom had already rigged some pool noodles on there with some cute ribbon tied in a bow

She was excited about the duct tape with butterflies though and wanted it. So we didn't get to help as much as we wanted, but that is ok b.c the conversation and dh's suggestion abt pool noodles helped solve the problem we're really happy she won't be hurting herself anymore and can be a bit more comfortable now.

Thank everyone for your suggestions and support!






We recently had the great pleasure of making friends with a lovely couple w/two kids. Their oldest is 11 or 12 and is in a wheelchair. I do not know her diagnosis but she has no muscle control in her arms, legs, or neck and is unable to speak.

Dh noticed that she has some nasty bruises on her legs near her ankles from where she is hitting her legs on the outside of her chair b.c she sometimes kicks them around.

We want to help fix this and are coming up with ideas to do so. We are thinking we could get something similar to pool noodles but smaller and cut them to fit, and then I could sew a cover for it so it doesn't look too funky.

Is there a product already out there, made to go on the metal bars of a wheelchair to pad it?

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Last edited by Kiliki; 11-20-2012 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

Not that I know of, most parents with this problem custom make their own solution. Why aren't her feet strapped down to her foot rest if she is injuring herself? DS doesn't need his feet to be strapped in but we do strap them down for bus rides and appointments to keep him from kicking other people.

ETA: I stand corrected. I decided to Google it and I did find this. http://www.mobility-aids.com/gel-wra...footrests.html

and this

http://www.mountainside-medical.com/...ded-Sides.html

I guess since I have never seen them and my son attends a school where 50% of the population uses a wheelchair either insurance doesn't normally cover such an expense or they are not available in a pediatric wheelchair size.

Last edited by mekat; 11-13-2012 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:35 AM   #3
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

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Not that I know of, most parents with this problem custom make their own solution. Why aren't her feet strapped down to her foot rest if she is injuring herself? DS doesn't need his feet to be strapped in but we do strap them down for bus rides and appointments to keep him from kicking other people.

ETA: I stand corrected. I decided to Google it and I did find this. http://www.mobility-aids.com/gel-wra...footrests.html

and this

http://www.mountainside-medical.com/...ded-Sides.html

I guess since I have never seen them and my son attends a school where 50% of the population uses a wheelchair either insurance doesn't normally cover such an expense or they are not available in a pediatric wheelchair size.
I don't know why they don't strap her down. I think they would prefer not to restrict her movement if they can. I am not sure of the reasoning.

I looked at the links, but that is not where she is hitting her legs. She is managing to get her legs onto the outside of her chair and is ramming them against the metal bars. The bruises are on the insides of her legs.

Thank you so much, this was helpful.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:17 AM   #4
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

Look at the foam pipe insulation. it is much thinner than a pool noodle, but I think it would do what you are looking for. It also makes good marble roller coasters.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

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Look at the foam pipe insulation. it is much thinner than a pool noodle, but I think it would do what you are looking for. It also makes good marble roller coasters.
I do think the pool noodles will be too bulky.

But we'll find out tonight (hopefully). We have two pool noodles and some different colored duck tapes to choose from - I even found Hello Kitty print and Butterflies.

Hopefully we can rig something up.

I am really sad to find that this is a common issue with disabled people that no one has come up with a good solution to.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

I recently attended an autism workshop and one of the keynotes was about making things more accessable for people with all kinds of disabilites. This particular keynote (I forget her name just now) has a great organization where she teaching parents or teachers to make things out of cardboard and all sorts of other basic materials. She is all for people wandering a hardware store or wherever to try to find something that works. She would be very proud of you and your dh!
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

I second the foam pipe insulation.

As for why her legs aren't strapped down, in some cases that is counterproductive and causes tone/contracture issues. I support a woman with spina bifida who bangs the heck out of her legs like that and they can't be strapped down because it just makes her muscles stiffer/tighter. We use the foam pipe insulation on her chair.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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Re: need help helping a friend with a SN child. please!

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Originally Posted by chillimom View Post
As for why her legs aren't strapped down, in some cases that is counterproductive and causes tone/contracture issues.

That makes sense. DS is hypotonic all over so we don't deal with spasticity or hypertonia. Although his ability to regulate internal body temperature seems to be getting worse. He is starting to get the autonomic storms that come with CP even though he doesn't officially have CP .
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