Page 28 - Mobility Management, March/April 2021
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ATP Series
Compliance & Kids: Looks Matter (to Mom & Dad, Too)
Items in the office of Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, Program Coordinator at the Motion Analysis Center, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa (Fla.), have been carefully curated.
The room houses demo wheelchairs, all of them cute. “One of my chairs has a life-sized Winnie the Pooh sitting in it; another has a blow-up penguin whose name is Bob,” Rosen said. “Scooby-Doo is in another power chair.”
Dolls using wheelchairs sit on shelves. “I do that to take away some of the stigma of using a wheelchair,” Rosen explained. “Because if you see Barbie or an American Girl doll sitting on my shelves, it normalizes it. Oh, look: I didn’t know dolls sat in chairs.”
The Impact of Aesthetics
Compared to functional goals, a wheelchair’s appearance might seem minor. But Rosen, who recalls a 3-year-old client squealing joyfully over her new pink-and-purple wheelchair, disagrees.
“I think aesthetics is one of the largest considerations,” she said. “I don’t care if it’s a kid or an adult: I want you to see my patient first.”
Function is imperative, but Rosen said she still considers appearance. “Obviously, if you need lateral supports and a head
support, I have to give you those things,” she noted. “But I even pick and choose those by what looks better. Everything about what I
do is looking for the least medi- cal-looking piece of equipment that can accomplish that goal.”
And if a minimalist approach
will work, she seizes it. For head
support, for example, “I want
something that’s got as low-profile
hardware on it [as possible].” She
referenced some extremely adjustable systems: “The kid is 3 feet tall; I don’t need all the kinks. I just need a little rod that goes from here to there. I will not sacrifice their function or what they need in order to make it cute, but I will definitively size up what they need and then come up with the most cosmetically pleasing version of whatever that is.”
A Constant Learning Process
The wheelchairs in Rosen’s office can also be teaching tools.
26 MARCH-APRIL 2021 | MOBILITY MANAGEMENT Untitled-75 1 4/5/21 5:13 PM

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