My son is moving from an electic scooter to a wheelchair. anyone have any advice on what is the best kind . what we should look for ect.? i'm not even sure what questions to ask about them. I guess whatever advice anyone would have on wheelchairs.
thanks

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Hello! My son has been in a power chair for almost 3 yrs now. We have an Invacare Arrow. It has its issues, and there are a few things I dont like about it, but it has been a great chair. We live in the country(east texas) and we live on 12acres. Justin flies through the pastures and rocks and everything else, and the chair has held up. We go through alot of tires and bearings for the wheels tho! One of the main things I hate about the chair is it doesnt have a stander on it. I recommend definitely getting automatic leg lifts and a tilt/recline. How your house and vehicle are also plays big into what kind of chair you get and size and so on. how old is your son?

--Samantha
ryan just turned 11. He has an electric scooter that he has used for over 2 yrs. but is needing something with more support as he is having alot of back pain. Right now he has a scooter to get around at school but sits at a regular desk. it is getting harder and harder for him to get in and out of it, and also to get around in the classroom. so it is time to go to a power chair. He is ready, i'm having a harder time with it though.

Samantha Dearing said:
Hello! My son has been in a power chair for almost 3 yrs now. We have an Invacare Arrow. It has its issues, and there are a few things I dont like about it, but it has been a great chair. We live in the country(east texas) and we live on 12acres. Justin flies through the pastures and rocks and everything else, and the chair has held up. We go through alot of tires and bearings for the wheels tho! One of the main things I hate about the chair is it doesnt have a stander on it. I recommend definitely getting automatic leg lifts and a tilt/recline. How your house and vehicle are also plays big into what kind of chair you get and size and so on. how old is your son?

--Samantha
It is alot harder for us as parents to see them go into a powerchair than it is for our boys. Justin went into a powerchair on Nov. 11,2005. He was 9.7yrs old. He was ready. I cried for days and days. WHen I finally stopped crying long enough to watch him, the change was amazing. he had an independance that he had never had before. He was happier, smiling and laughing more. He wasnt getting tired getting in and out of the manual chair he was using. In his powerchair, he was as fast and strong as anyone else. I would start ordering it as soon as possible. It can take 3-6months to actually get the chair once it is ordered and approved. One thing that is very important when they go into powerchairs, is the seating system and seat cushion. We went in circles for 6 months until we finally found the right seat cushion for Justin. Justin has a Roho air seat.

--Samantha
thank you for the information and for the encouragment. I think the hardest part of seeing our son go into a Power Chair is that this is what we have been dreading since the day he was diagnosed . I guess i see it as the end of him being independent but it sounds like maybe it will be the beginning of him being able to be more independant. He went to camp this summer and he said everyone else had powerchairs and that they could go much faster then him! That is when he started asking when he was going to get one. I am thankful that he is excited about this. that makes it much easier!

Samantha Dearing said:
It is alot harder for us as parents to see them go into a powerchair than it is for our boys. Justin went into a powerchair on Nov. 11,2005. He was 9.7yrs old. He was ready. I cried for days and days. WHen I finally stopped crying long enough to watch him, the change was amazing. he had an independance that he had never had before. He was happier, smiling and laughing more. He wasnt getting tired getting in and out of the manual chair he was using. In his powerchair, he was as fast and strong as anyone else. I would start ordering it as soon as possible. It can take 3-6months to actually get the chair once it is ordered and approved. One thing that is very important when they go into powerchairs, is the seating system and seat cushion. We went in circles for 6 months until we finally found the right seat cushion for Justin. Justin has a Roho air seat.

--Samantha
My son has been wheelchair bound almost 2 years now and he has the invacare tdx sp. It also has tilt on it so he can recline back if he wants to it is a very nice chair. MDA clinic usually has a tech that visits the hospital and they can usually help with all the decision making that is how we did it.
For Justin, the chair was definitely the start of more independance. he is now in junior high and has gone to dances and football games without his dad or me around. We also looked at a powechair as the "beginning of the end". It is really just another phase in life with dmd. Justins chair is just an extension of him now. In fact, when we move him to the couch or a chair, it throws all of us off. Its the parents way of thinking that has to change. If a parent looks at a powerchair as a death sentence and something to hate, then the child will also. We grieved privately, but made sure Justin only saw our enthusiasm for the chair. We always talked about the positive aspects of it. My way of thinking negatively really changed on the day he got the chair. We were at Scottish Rite hospital in Dallas, and we put him in the chair. He raced down the hallway, turned around and came back. The smile on his face was huge. He wanted to drive the chair out to the van and we let him. On the way out, he couldnt stop smiling. he said to us that it was the first time he was able to keep up with us while we were walking. In the grand scheme of living with dmd, the powerchair is not a huge deal. Grieve it and then move past it. Enjoy the smile on your sons face when he zooms down that hallway!

--Samantha
The tilt/recline option is good, one with good battery power, a custom made seat that fits him perfectly, gel tires so they don't "pop". Ours is an invacare TDX3 storm and we have been pleased with it.
So my son John has a storm tdx3 and it has been nothing but problems for us as your son gets older the harder they get on them and the chair breaks all the time it has been in the shop more times than I care to mention. Also like everyone said that the tilt is the best and the smiles that will be produced and very warming and heartfelt. Also try the Roho cushion it has been the best so far and he has had a wheelchair for about 8 years now.
Our son Tyler is 12 and has been using a wheelchair for almost 2 years. He has a Permobile C500. He loves it. I would suggest going somewhere where he can try out a couple. Tyler was adament that he wanted a front wheel drive chair so he could make quick turns? We got the tilt and elevator option and wish we would have gotten the stander option but didn't. As he gets older and the DMD progresses we have found out we can add options to make is life easier (ie a tra that attaches to the chair).
I could agree more with Donna and Samantha. We too saw our son going onto a wheelchair as the worst thing ever. What we realized is that our son was SO tired and SO exhausted from walking and falling that the wheelchair was a relief for him. He couldn't keep up with anyone and was becoming very frustrated and his self esteem was going down hill very fast.
We have not had hardly any problems with this chair. I hope and pray you have good insurance for the coverage of the chair!
Kim
Hello, My son Austin is 10, he's had his chair for only a few months (since August '08). It's a Permobile Stander Jr. It's really a great chair, although I have nothing to compare it to. Austin is still mobile but we knew he very possibly would not be for much longer, so we decided to go ahead with the stander. Austin really likes his chair, it does stand, lie down and it elevates straight up and down, which will make it great for his independence once he's in it full time. One problem we do have is that my van is not yet modified to carry it. I cant find any way to pay for the modifications and my van is only a year old, although, I guess I may have to trade it in on one thats already modified.
Austin made his own decision to get the chair. The day we took it to school the first time, he was extremely shy and embarassed, one of his best friends rode in it in the gym, and showed it to everyone (at Austin's request). Since then, everyone thinks Austin's chair is so great, and they all wish they had one. Some kids asked if they would be able to walk faster in the hall now that he has the chair and not have to wait on him. So, really when you look at it that way, I think the kids actually accept them better with the chair because they can do more instead of less....
If anyone has any questions about his chair, or price, or anything else I can help with, just let me know.

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