“Jack’s scooter has become an extension of himself, and it has extended his activities.”
Jack had been able to borrow a small scooter for a few months from Montrose but we really needed to get him a mobility device of his own. We applied for a grant from Inclusive Kids when we heard about it from Jack’s therapist. We are very grateful that we received enough to purchase a mobility scooter. It has made such a difference to him.
Before the scooter, Jack had to have one or two days a week off school as he got so exhausted—his nerve degeneration condition makes it such an effort to get through a day. However, since he has had the scooter he has only been absent from school one or two days in the last six months. He would have got more and more behind in his learning if he had to keep having days off because of exhaustion and pain. We would have had to look at alternative education programs for him without the scooter. But using the scooter to get around leaves him enough energy to attend school.
The grant enabled us to get the scooter at the right time for Jack, as he was entering Year One, and his friends were young enough that we could explain what was happening to Jack and why he needs the scooter. It has meant that he and his friends will grow up together with the scooter in his life – it may have been harder on Jack to bring it into his life at a later stage.
Having the scooter to get around the school has reduced the physical exertion on Jack. He can ride the scooter down to the oval and then he has enough energy to participate in physical education classes. He loves physical activity so this really has been a change that brightens him up. He can now play with his friends at lunch time instead of having to sit inside. He can go to the park, take the dog out for a walk and so on.
Family life has opened up for Jack too. We can now all go on bike rides together as he comes along on his scooter. We can take him places such as Aussie World and Australia Zoo, whereas before he could not have managed to walk around those places.
It is amazing how something that he only uses for a few hours a day has had such far-reaching effects. I have seen how it has improved his life and taken a lot strain off him. His confidence has improved by being more involved with the things the other children are doing. This scooter will suit him for the next ten years, therefore I feel more relaxed about his future. I can see that he can have some independence and can continue with his education at school. The scooter enables his life and his activities to be extended beyond the confines of home.