Need advice: wheel chair(non motorized) vs special needs stroller

Hi,
My kid is about to turn 6, is walking comfortably and is on a Prednisone dose. We are getting help in selecting a wheel chair or a Mclaren special needs stroller for him, which we need when we need to walk long distances.

We are being advised that manual wheel chairs are better and strollers are not good for 3 reasons
1. Kids have difficulty climbing in and out of the stroller
2. Posture is better in wheel chair
3. Kids are very passive in the stroller and can be more active in the wheel chair

I am not mentally ready to see my kid in a wheel chair and getting really confused on whether the reasons given for the wheel chair are valid.

Need advice from folks who have used strollerrs or wheel chairs for 6 year olds.

Thanks
Tulika

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I would ask your 6 year old what he wants. He's old enough to decide what he wants to use. We asked my son at 4 and he wanted the wheelchair and as much as I wasn't ready to see that, he loves it. He's 7 now and we still only use it for things like the zoo and the Mall of America, Trips to Disney, Sea World etc...
Personally, I think at 6 a wheelchair is more appropriate for long term use and for a boy on the brink of becoming a young man. If he was a bit younger maybe the stroller.
It's hard as a parent to accept the wheels, stroller or wheelchair, either way you both are going to get looks and you will get used to them up to a point, but at his age I think the decision should be his. Show him his options and do not try to sway him by your feelings.
My 7 year old has has the special needs strollers for 3 years for long trips. We have taken it to DC, New your, paris Italy etc. He is also on steriods and walking well. He has no problems using with it. He has asked me to explain to his class why he uses it and has gladly taken it on class field trips,where others wanted to take turns pushing. Actually another classmate had a headache and jumped in when my son wasnt using it. he knows that its a stroller for kids with muscle problems, not for babies and so has none of those issues. He easily gets in and out and is plenty interactive. None of the concerns you mention seem to be an issue for us yet.
Our GoGo Elite Scooter was just delivered today for our 6 year old. Having two younger siblings made it challenging to push everyone in strollers. We're excited that he will be able to drive himself. It looks pretty sweet, too. They made a special pediatric seat for him, which is helpful, and it breaks down into lightweight pieces for transport.
I was in the same boat a few yrs. back. My son is 12 now but at the time I has similar questions and the fact of the matter is your son's posture is extremely important and keeping his back as straight as possible is something to focus on. I listend to my doctor and got him a manual wheelchair to keep his posture in check. The last thing you want is him slouching and he may be able to wheel it himself which is good exercise once in awhile. The strollers seem like a good idea but this is not good for his back.
Colleen
Our son was 6 when he got his first manual chair. We looked at the strollers and the scooters, but our drs and pt advised us to go with the manual chair. It kept Justins back straighter and his posture was better than other choices. it worked for us. Justin never had any issues with it and got in and out of it easily.

--Samantha
carrie said:
My 7 year old has has the special needs strollers for 3 years....

Carrie - what type of stroller do you have... I was looking at this one online: http://www.sammonspreston.com/app.aspx?cmd=get_product&id=48355 But I have no idea what is good or not... and for the money - I don't want to end up wishing I bought something different.

~Paul
yes, that is the Mcclarren special needs stroller that we have. We picked it out, showed it to our PT and had her make a reccomendation to the insurance company indicating that we need one. It was approved and didnt cost us anything (we are lucky to have good insurance). If you are insured you might try that route. We have liked it pretty much and its been hugely helpful. i think the foot plate is a bit of a hassle, but not to bad (just big and doesnt fold and someties doesnt click into place easily. Sometimes the wheels wont right themselves without a little wigling of the stroller, but we manage (and after 4 years, its in pretty good shape). I do like that it easily folds and opens. I reccomend getting the extras including the little basket underneath (great for putting junk in) and the sun shade (though we rarely use the later). Best
carrie

Paul Johnson said:
carrie said:
My 7 year old has has the special needs strollers for 3 years....

Carrie - what type of stroller do you have... I was looking at this one online: http://www.sammonspreston.com/app.aspx?cmd=get_product&id=48355 But I have no idea what is good or not... and for the money - I don't want to end up wishing I bought something different.

~Paul
We also have the MacLaren special needs stroller. Our son is 10 and still mobile but we use the stroller for long distances and travel. Tim also has a motorized scooter but I find we use the stroller more frequently. Tim does need some help in and out of the stroller and I agree the foot pad is a pain. Overall the stroller has worked great for us and it has held up great. It has to be about 6 years old now. It is easy to fold and put in any car or even a cab if traveling. It is suprisingly easy to push and Tim is 70 lbs now. I do wish we had orderd the basket. I am sure that would be useful. Tim is in 4th grade and has even used the stroller in school for field trips. The aide or teacher pushes it. Because all of the kids know about Tim's DMD there are no issues with the stroller.
Good Luck.

Ellen

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