Friday, March 28, 2014

A novel walking aid for our children

From "This Unique Invention
Will Allow Disabled Children to Walk
For the First Time
A new aid for children with disabilities, the Firefly Upsee [article here] is scoring big in the media. "Revolutionary" and "game changer" are among the superlatives being used to describe it. And it does indeed look appealing and fun for both parent and child to use. (It is worn by both  in tandem).

But my jury is still out about its practicality and benefits.  It's unclear that it promotes any  progress in the child's standing and walking skills. The parental opinions quoted - all rave reviews - make the reports sound like advertisements.

But so far, no professional assessments have been cited - unless you count the occupational therapist who works for the manufacturer of the harness. (I don't).

The hitch is that the child is entirely passive while using it. Aren't other aids, the ones that spur the child's independence and initiative, superior?

Also, the harness demands total and incessant involvement from the parent every minute that the child is using it. How long can that be sustained?

At $500 a piece, it isn't the sort of item you can buy just in order to try it out.

But for us there is no quandary. While the articles didn't specify an appropriate age/size range, it seems to suit only younger children. So C. and I will just keep plugging away at our new Rifton walker.

But please let me know if you do purchase this and find it a delight. I'll gladly retract this blog post.

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