Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thwarted

Therapists, caregivers, teachers, equipment reps are constantly thinking about ways to help individuals overcome handicaps.  More often than not the solutions allow the individual to do things independently, however sometimes the opposite is true...

Joshy LOVES playing with the break lever on his wheelchair.  When we want him to sit still he flips the lever and proceeds to run over anyone in his way.  When we are attempting to walk down the hall, he flips the break lever bringing everything to a halt, hopefully before the person pushing flips over the wheelchair and/or gets run over by anyone following too closely behind.  He is getting MUCH better at doing this, too!  I'm pretty sure that if he were a typically developing boy, he would have been the three year old to drive the car into the house O_o

The teachers and I have been scratching our heads trying to find a way to put a stop to Joshy's shenanigans and save ourselves in the process.  We have tried covering the wheel & break.  Hopeful that "out of sight, out of mind" would work - NOPE, he pulls the cover off.  We've tried wedging something soft into the space between the wheel & his seat... he simply picks at it until it is lose enough to pull out.  Velcro strap around the break lever & wheel.  This actually worked for a few days until he pulled long and hard enough to break the plastic buckle.  The therapist had the idea of turning the lever down rather than up, but wasn't able to get the break lever off.  Today we had an appointment with the wheelchair rep.  He was able to get the lever off, but as we were contemplating the pros & cons of an upside down lever, the wheels were turning in Joshy's head... He all but had it figured out - sigh!

Finally, the rep had a brilliant light bulb moment...

Simply leave the lever out!  When we need to lock the wheel, put the lever in, lock it and remove the lever...

DUH!

 

The lever doesn't need to be screwed in it just needs to be in the hole, and in fact, a pen or chop stick or anything can slipped into the hole and be used to flip the break.  Obviously, using the actual lever is ideal, but in a pinch there are other options.  In light of needing to store the lever in an accessible - to caregivers, not Joshy - spot, I came up with an idea of my own... I recycled Jerry's old cell phone case!  The clip fits perfectly on the handlebars, but will not slip off because it won't go past the hand grips.


So the boy has been thwarted in the break lever mischief department.  However, we do need to make sure sticks, pens, pencils, etc. stay out of his reach!!

2 comments:

Wendy said...

Ha ha ha!

Karen said...

Amazing creative thinking and problem solving! Clever Josh too.