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Student

I am a student at LSBU and am designing a trike with children with cerebral palsy in mind. I'd like to appogise for my ignorance but I was wondering if anyone would be willing to help me by telling me the immediate restrictions your child would have using a trike. Would holding or the reach of handle bars be a problem? Perhaps the seat should be very adjustable (up/down/forward/backward tilt up/down) If there was a chest and back support be beneficial? And do you think your child would gain anything from using one? I understand there are different degrees of disability and this would only be accessible to some.
Thank you for reading this and for any comments.

Replies

  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Before you start have you looked at what is already available for disabled kids, such as Theraplay Imp and terrier? Look at Quest 88, Tomcat, Mission cycles...you will see the sorts of adaptations that are currently on offer..
  • ZeezeeZeezee Member Posts: 80 Pioneering
    Hi its great to see students taking an interest in equipment for kids with additional needs, my daughter is only two and I bought her a trike which I push, I had to buy the top of the range one with a backrest which was cushioned and like a bucket seat to stop her falling to the side even with the five point harness and which also reclines, looking forward I think she would also need handlebars closer to her as just holding on is a problem and to steer the trike she would need to not be stretching her arms to have control, I think adjustable everything, padded and comfortable seating with adjustable headrest as children with cp can get very tired very quickly and what they can manage on the way to the park may be impossible on the way home from the park even when like me the park is four houses away from our house, also harnesses padded and big enough, good luck with your design I would love to see your finished product and if you have any more questions just ask
  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 8
    Thank you Zeezee, that's beena huge boost to my moral. Im at stage two of my design journey and have built a prototype of my prototype which has included on it handlebars that are adjustable forward and backwards as well as up and down so your comment about your daughter in the future needing something closer to her to steer was encouraging. Also I've added a push pole that can be folded away rather than taken on/off. I was wondering if a self propelled trike, like a balance bike would be something that would be beneficial? I've been having trouble finding a group close by to ask these things so your feedback is really appreciated.
  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 8
    Thank you Forgoidnesssake . I've had a look at mission cycles but not the imp and terrier so that's a big help. Do you think a self propelled trike would be beneficial? It would be like a balance bike but less balance and more trike. I know this will then make it a very narrow market but for this project, that's ok. I'd love your thoughts.
  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 8
    I meant to say Forgoodnesssake, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply, I don't know how I missed your post.
  • Blue FrogBlue Frog Member Posts: 373 Pioneering
    Hi EmmaP, have you had a chat with Wheels 4 All? http://www.cycling.org.uk/wfa/wheels-all-centres I am not sure if there is a group near you, (I don't know where anywhere is in the South!) but they may be able to provide some ideas?

    My little girl has incredibly low tone and hyper mobility of joints - she would need something very supportive and as adjustable as possible as her postural needs seem to keep changing!
  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 8
    Blue frog that a great help thank you. Slough is not too far away, I'll give them a call.
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    My son (athetoid CP) needed a reasonably supportive seat with a back, and some lateral support and straps. he also needed his feet held onto the pedals and ideally some sort of caliper (as on the Imp and Terrier) to keep his knees from just wobbling all over. His steering with the handlebars was OK, but when he got bigger and we got him a Mission trike (I think it was) he was able to go faster BUT could not operate the brake levers...his hands are not designed for that gripping movement and so in the end, after a couple of scares! we had to sell it at a huge loss. So a braking system that can be used by someone with poor fine and gross motor control would be great!
  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 8
    I think I'm barking up the wrong tree but I'm too far in to the project to change. The idea is for a self propelled trike. Thank you for all your help though, it is important for me to put it into my report.
  • ZeezeeZeezee Member Posts: 80 Pioneering
    Hi Emma, I wasnt sure what a balance bike was but I have just had a look and one problem with a balance bike for Ziyal would be having the strength in her legs to push off the ground and then lift her feet off the floor and keep them off even with a foot rest it would be too dangerous, her feet/legs dragging along the floor and getting caught up in foot rest/ wheels, co-ordination would also be a huge problem, Your post did peak my interest and I contacted a company which specialises in trikes and they did an over the phone assessment and are coming to see me shortly, I didn't realise how complex Ziyals needs where in respect of riding a trike, I was pleased that they where confident that she would be able to ride one at two years old with low muscle tone. Have you contacted companies who specialise in disability trikes such as tomcat as I am sure they would be happy to give you information on issues you hadnt even thought of as even though my daughter has quad cp I hadnt thought of half the issues they asked me about during the assessment.
  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 8
    It's really nice to hear that my idea at least flagged up some points for you and that the company are coming to see Ziyal, it sounds really promising. I guess had I asked a lot earlier, I would have changed direction. Everyone's comments are a great help and I can still put them in my development folder to show what I missed.
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