Wheelchairs are Awesome!

When you see a child using a wheelchair, you might feel sad for them.

But they are, most likely, not sad at all.

International Wheelchair Day is intended to be a celebration of the positive impact a wheelchair has on the life of the user.

Some people might think that is an odd thing to celebrate.

I know that many parents find it hard to see their child using a wheelchair for the first time, but I never did. I was simply delighted to see my son sat beautifully, suddenly able to interact with the world and able to explore the things which interested him.

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Adam, 2 years old.

I was happy.

I didn’t see my baby in a wheelchair, I saw my baby come to life thanks to that wheelchair!

I wished he didn’t need a wheelchair.
I wished he could sit unaided.
I wished he could stand.
I wished he could walk, run, climb and jump.
I wished his life could be less difficult.

And I still wish for all those things for him.

But at the same time I am so thankful that he has amazing wheelchairs which ENABLE him to do things he could not do otherwise.

And we should celebrate them!

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Adam’s first powered wheelchair, the SnapDragon, dressed as The Mystery Machine!

The day also aims to celebrate the work done by the millions of people who are involved in providing wheelchairs, in supporting wheelchair users and in making the world a better and more accessible place for people with mobility issues.

Special thanks to all those who are working hard to make Changing Places toilets a standard feature in life because without an accessible toilet, a place simply isn’t accessible.

iwd-2017On a less happy note, the day is intended to acknowledge that there are many tens of millions of people across the  world who need a wheelchair, but who are unable to have one.

Most people are probably thinking of less well developed countries for that last point but there are actually many people in the UK who cannot get the wheelchair they require.

Without the kindness of many people, my own son, a child who cannot walk at all, would not have the right wheelchairs to meet his needs.

You only have to use social media to see many families and individuals fundraising for wheelchairs. Many are refused a wheelchair in this country because they can walk indoors or because they can self propel inside their own home. There is no consideration to whether they can get to the shops, or go out with friends or get to work. Others cannot get the chair which would meet their needs or the needs of their carers.

When we first approached the proper services for a powered wheelchair for Adam we were told that they wouldn’t consider him for one till he could prove he could use it fully and safely. They couldn’t answer the question of how he would ever prove that without actually having one.

Yet with movement came improved speech, more interest in the world around him, self esteem and joy. As well as the ability to be a bit naughty, and that is priceless when you are a small child!

As is the ability to take a short stroll with a friend.

I celebrate the joy of the wheelchair every time I see my son move.

I still wish he didn’t need it but I am so very glad that he has it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

21 thoughts on “Wheelchairs are Awesome!

  1. This is a great post. Such an important cause. I am astounded and upset to hear that without the kindness of other people that your son and many other children would not have access to the most appropriate wheelchairs for their needs. This definitely needs to change! Love the mystery machine design too!! #9 FB bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting post on a subject I’m ashamed to admit I hasn’t given much thought to. I came very close to being wheelchair bound myself as a teen and used one for distances I wasn’t able to walk. Was insightful that’s for sure. People jumping out of the way like I had the plague. I know they wanted to be kind and helpful but it just came across as treating me different and I didn’t want to be. Fab post. Thank you.

    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOVE the mystery machine! I really appreciate your outtake on life for your kiddo. It’s hard when things aren’t as we would have them for our kids, but thank goodness he has his wheels! Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You do such an amazing job of raising awareness and highlighting the highs and the lows that many of us wouldn’t have as much of an appreciation of. I love your idea of sharing with us why Adam’s wheelchair is so valuable to you and him and his independence. That Mystery Machine design is just genius! X

    Kat | Kitty and B

    Liked by 1 person

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