We have started the process of finding Missy a new powerchair, she has had her Roller Rad with MAG seating system for five years now and it's worn out along with being to small. The technology, design and features available in powerchairs have certainly changed over the last five years.
Next week we meet with 5 suppliers who will be in our area to look at 14 different chairs that maybe suitable for Missy. We are currently on the books with the Spastic Centre (soon to be called Cerebral Palsy Alliance - much better)and our OT will be assisting us especially with the all important application for funding, expecting the chair to cost around 20K.
Biggest decision for us will be which wheel drive base to choose, our current RAD is rear wheel drive,as Missy drives over allot of rough ground around home. We will also be trialling the mid wheel range which will give a tighter turning circle, more suitable for the classroom and shops.
Missy powerchair has been incredibly important to Missy's life, it provides choices and a level of independence particularly socially, in sport, in the classroom, and out in the community. Missy can choose who she wants to hang out with in the playground or what conversation/group she wants to leave if she is bored - very important. Since Missy started with the powerchair at school, I believe she is perceived differently, she is a kid in control of own wishes, an active kid able to carry out tasks and a very responsible driver.
If I take myself back to when Missy first got her powerchair at 4 yrs of age , I was very nervous and had my doubts as to how proficient she would become at driving. Of course Missy always works hard at tasks and now is a very good safe driver.
It's wonderful that the technology continues to expand and there is so many options available to allow kids to take some control over their lives.