My son is 11 years old and has been having multiple falls in the evening time after school, when I ask him if he falls while at school he says he doesn't remember. As he walks his toes are turned inward his therapist says it from his inner thigh muscles are getting tighter. And when he does fall he needs assistance getting up either with chair or standing in front of him and pulling on his arms to pull him up. I think he needs his wheelchair but he refuses to use it he is afraid of what other people will think. I am afraid he is going to fall and really injure himself. Should I push him using his chair or let him decide.

 

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Hello Rebecca,

This topic is very sensitive for many families and a parent's approach certainly influences their sons.  There is no one size fits all solution as each young man is different.  The reasons to initiate the use of a wheelchair may be different for each as well.  In your son's situation, from the few lines you posted, suggest to me that not only is muscle deformity leading to impaired ability to walk, but it may also be due fatigue.  When discussing wheelchair use with him it might be helpful to explain that it would help him save energy to do the things he enjoys and avoid some of the unpleasant falls and difficulty in getting back up.  A wheelchair in itself is not a negative.  Like eye glasses, hearing aids and many other assistive devices, wheelchairs help people do things they are either unable to do or do well.  I know it isn't easy for parents to talk to their children about this subject, yet choosing a when your son is not upset, listening to his concerns and trying to understand his resistance may be helpful.  Including him in the decision making process at this time will help in his acceptance.

 

Best of luck.

 

Brian Denger

Being someone with DMD I was worried about the wheelchair looking like an old persons wheelchair.  There alot of sport wheelchairs around that he can choose from and look cool. If you can go to the Abilities Expo(wheelchair trade show)

or a vender that has chairs he can test drive. Maybe take him to see a wheelchair basketball game.  I think he will feel alot beter about it. 

You don't have to force him but show him it can be cool.  People will comment about how cool the chairs is.

My first chair was a Quickie there alot of style options for him to pick from.

Good luck

 

He has a Quickie that he got about a year ago he got to pick the color of it. But he is just embarrased about being in it. I'm going to try a different approach.Thank you for the replies



Jason Darienzo said:

Being someone with DMD I was worried about the wheelchair looking like an old persons wheelchair.  There alot of sport around that he can choose from and look cool. If you can go to the Abilities Expo(wheelchair trade show)

or a vender that has chairs he can test drive. Maybe take him to see a wheelchair basketball game.  I think he will feel alot beter about it. 

You don't have to force him but show him it can be cool.  People will comment about how cool the chairs is.

My first chair was a Quickie there alot of style options for him to pick from.

Good luck

 

He will get use it when he's ready. I was 12, he has time when waking get to hard he'll use it.  I would tell him only use when  tired.  He will be less tired and play longer with friends. It maybe harder for you to watch than it is for him falling.

 

ps  therapist can over react some times, I walked that way from 2 or 3 years and fell alot.  He has to walk that way, his body is adapting to less muscle. 

 

If he's happy he's fine 

Rebecca,

I don't know if the chair you have is a power chair or not but when parents are talking about the possibilty of needing a chair they need to keep in mind how long it can take. If your sons have medicaid it can go through several denials before finally getting approval. I thought we were starting a bit early but then after three medicaid denials the whole process took a little over a year. Each time it was sent back in it took 3 to 4 month.

Also you said something about helping your son up by pulling on his arms to get him up. I recall the PT saying that we should never pull our guys up by pulling on their arms. This method is probably not great for your back either. She showed us a lifting technique that you are squatting behind him and you wrap your arms around his chest, under his arm pits and grasp his arms (which are crossed in front of him) just below the hands. When you get up you raise up from the squat to a stand without bending forward, using your legs and not your back. Not sure if that makes sense to you but I'm sure your pt could demonstrate correct lifting so you don't hurt yourself or your son.

 

 

He already received a manuel wheel chair about a year ago, he has only used it once when we went to fair.I'm just having trouble getting him to use it any other time when he really needs it, he is embarassed to use it. And the reason I have to get him up pulling his arms is thats the only way I can help him get up, cause I have alot of weakness from this horrible disease. I can't squat and get back up.

Janine said:

Rebecca,

I don't know if the chair you have is a power chair or not but when parents are talking about the possibilty of needing a chair they need to keep in mind how long it can take. If your sons have medicaid it can go through several denials before finally getting approval. I thought we were starting a bit early but then after three medicaid denials the whole process took a little over a year. Each time it was sent back in it took 3 to 4 month.

Also you said something about helping your son up by pulling on his arms to get him up. I recall the PT saying that we should never pull our guys up by pulling on their arms. This method is probably not great for your back either. She showed us a lifting technique that you are squatting behind him and you wrap your arms around his chest, under his arm pits and grasp his arms (which are crossed in front of him) just below the hands. When you get up you raise up from the squat to a stand without bending forward, using your legs and not your back. Not sure if that makes sense to you but I'm sure your pt could demonstrate correct lifting so you don't hurt yourself or your son.

 

 

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