January 17, 2011

Bertrand's New Wheels!

Bertrand and Daddy stylin' outside Shriners Hospital.

Bertrand was fitted for and received his sparkling, new, cherry-red wheelchair today! You may not be able to tell from the pictures below but he loves it. He is clearly very comfortable and supported. This chair will replace a lot of time he currently spends in his car seat and stroller--neither of which are ergonomically suited for long periods of sitting--and should go a long way to preventing (and possibly undoing?) the curve in his spine.

The arrival of the Elmo Chariot (maybe we should hold a naming contest?) doesn't mean Bertrand will be in a wheelchair all day! But while he is sitting in it, this wheelchair encourages him to use his neck, back, abdominal and leg muscles to sit correctly. He'll still work on standing and sitting independently both at home AND at school.

I keep repeating this last point to myself. We are NOT giving up on Bertrand standing, sitting, crawling or even walking! Of course, Bertrand obviously needs the chair. In fact, he probably needed it much sooner, but his yo-yo prognoses and development kept us guessing.

I'll admit that the arrival of this wheelchair has been a bit bittersweet. In many ways the wheelchair is a neon sign--to the public and to me. Today, I am telling myself, it is a neon sign saying my son is big, strapping THREE year-old scholar whose life is an open book. Only HE will decide what his future holds. And, his parents will love and support him no matter what.

Bertrand was unsure at first about the clear tray. (He got used to it quickly.)

Bertrand was not a fan of having the chair tilted back or of the shoulder harness.

The bare bones of the wheelchair. At first glance could pass as a stroller?


  1. Nice!! I'm glad to hear he loves it :)

  2. Looks like a really nice one! Working in the public schools for years, I can't tell you how many kids I've seen in poorly fitting wheelchairs. As a therapist, it's so frustrating when you can't even get a kid up to the table for an activity because of his/her chair. But that one looks comfy but still slender enough to sit at a table with peers, or be at the board/easel, or just wherever he needs to be. And the handle looks awesome for mom, dad, and teachers, too!

  3. As another mom who's son got his first wheelchair few months ago, I can relate to that bittersweet feeling.