Page 32 - Mobility Management, March/April 2021
P. 32

focus on positioning strollers
Choosing a Stroller That Works for Everyone
By Laurie Watanabe
Apositioning stroller can be liberating for a family whose child needs significant postural support. These strollers, however, aren’t always embraced by parents who had been envisioning cute little strollers commonly seen on baby shower lists.
We asked a positioning stroller manufacturer, a seating clinician, and an ATP supplier how they work with parents who balk at positioning strollers.
The Manufacturer’s Perspective
Josh Tucker is the National Sales Manager for Leggero. “The most common thing I hear from parents is they want their child to have the seating and positioning of
a wheelchair, but without the ‘wheelchair’ look,’” Tucker said. “For parents, the aesthetics are important. We all want our children to roll around in equipment that looks like a stroller, if they can.”
But while manufacturers have to please many stake- holders, Tucker said, “Clinicians are such an important part of our industry. They interact with the parents more than any of us and know the child’s capabilities and limitations. My personal experience: Always go with the therapist.
“At the end of the day, the goal is to do what’s best for the child, not what looks the best. We need to hear and understand Mom and Dad’s wants, but if an ATP, a therapist and a sales rep are involved, then there are obviously some needs that have to be addressed.”
The Clinician’s Perspective
Andrina Sabet, PT, ATP, is Director of the seating clinic at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation and is the owner of Mobility Matters LLC.
“I try to employ the ICF model [International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health] in working with families on any kind of equipment that impacts their positioning and mobility needs,” Sabet said. “I think that model creates an opportunity for a landscape view because it looks at the interaction of the child’s body, structure and function. But it also takes into account their activities, their participation, their partic- ular environment, their personal family factors. It brings everything together under one umbrella.”
Sabet said she prefers to start by talking generally about a family’s goals or preferences. “I try not to start with equipment when I look for equipment,” she noted. “A lot of times, a family can come in and say, ‘I want that
stroller’ or ‘I want that
wheelchair.’ I think
it’s pretty cool to step
back and discuss
goals that aren’t
really related to one
particular piece of
equipment on the
market. Some exam-
ples of goals might be
‘It can be accommo-
dated in the trunk of
my car,’ or ‘The child
can sit all day at the zoo,’ or ‘We can use it on the bus.’
“So instead of looking at things that are product specific, we look at what the equipment needs to accomplish. When I can start with families from that perspective, we really just have a good discussion about goals, and we save talking about products until the very end of the discussion. It gives us an opportunity to come to a better consensus of what the needs are. And it tends to get better results in the end.”
The ATP Supplier’s Perspective
David Butcher, ATP, CRTS, works in National Seating & Mobility’s Houston office. “I run a very large pediatric clinic in Houston with Texas Children’s Hospital, as well as their in-patient NICU/TICU departments, so I do use multiple stroller manufacturers,” he said.
“In my experience clinicians are first and foremost looking at the positioning needs of the clients. That can range from maximal to minimal, and we discuss the stroller options in the appropriate categories. Once we have decided on the level of positioning required, we then address what medical devices the stroller must
be able to accommodate. Do they have a vent (which type)? Do they require an IV pole, oxygen tank, a place to carry the suction machine, pulse oximeter, diaper bag, or medical necessity bag?”
Next, Butcher said, the team typically addresses “how easy it will be for the family to transport, fold, maneuver, etc. This doesn’t mean that folding and transportation isn’t important, because it is. To the family, this is prob- ably the most important factor. However, if the stroller doesn’t provide the support or the ability to transport the life-supporting devices they need to take, then the weight and foldability won’t matter.”

   30   31   32   33   34