My son Cade (8) is still walking. However, it was suggested by Dr. Wong's group that we should begin shopping for a power chair to use for energy conservation. We would really like Cade to start with a scooter; just seems like a scooter would look "cool" and be an easier transition for him. It also looks easier to get in and out of my car. I have been looking online, only to find that there really aren't any kid-friendly scooters out there. I was hoping that some of you could offer some suggestions as to what type to buy and where to look. I have an appt. with a mobility equip rep. on Monday. I don't want to go in without any good ideas. Thanks! -Kelly

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Hi Kelly,
My son is 7 and gets around really good still as well. He does have trouble with walking any kind of distance and we also wanted to conserve his energy. We elected for the scooter and got a GO GO Elite Traveller. I believe it is the smallest and lightest they make. We did not feel that he needed a power chair at this point and it is definatly less medical looking. Also with a power chair you have to have the van and the lift to transport it and that was a problem for us right now. The scooter easily comes apart and fits in the trunk of my Honda.

I would warn against trying to get your insurance to pay for it though as once they do they will most likely not cover a powerchair in the net 5yrs he your son should need it. We got the scooter covered through our MDA funds. It cost around $1200.

I just learned from the PPMD conference about a wonderful source for the scooter. The source is about a person who is a mobility specialist who has helped families order a scooter that will offer the best type of support. He does recommend the chair for the best support. However, for traveling and getting around he can help you work with a seating and mobility specialist so your scooter has good support. The best way to get in touch with him is to call him. You can e-mail him but he does not read his e-mails on a regular basis. I recently spoke to him and he sounds like a great person with a good heart and very resourceful. His name is Kris Ledford and below is the website.

All the best!

Hi Kelly, I'm Ana Smith, My son Austin, 9 (10 in two wks), is just about to get his first power chair. I considered a scooter also. We decided to go with the chair because he probably only has another yr or two before he'll be using it all the time, and usually a power chair lasts at least 5 from what I've been told.
The chair Austin is getting is called a Stander Jr. through promobile. This chair is very cool and supposed to help alot with kidney function, bowels and circulation. This chair goes into a standing position, lying down, and will elevate. If you have any questions about it, let me know.
Hi Kelly,

Consider doing what we did...obtain a loaner scooter from MDA. We get to keep it as long as it fits our son, then return it. We are to make any repairs along the way and keep it running. But, we did not have to purchase it. In our area MDA has storage places for all their excess (yes, they have excess equipment) but you must ask them, they won't offer up the info. And, we had a wonderful OT who assisted us getting this thing. Check with the MDA OT's at your nearest clinic and see if they have stuff laying around.

good luck
My son, Kevin is 8 as well. We bought him an Amigo last year and at this point it was the best invesment we have made for him. We followed the recommendation of another family in Michigan who did the scooter before the power chair as well. Kevin is still active and just needs the scooter for long distances but he uses it as his primary mode of travel when he plays outside. Kevin is very concerned about looking different than the other kids and the scooter was perfect. Unlike Kathy, we did use our one time insurance money, thinking we will use Michigan's "Children's Special Heath Services" for funding our wheelchair when Kevin needs it--let's hope that works out as we plan.
We just ordered a scooter for our almost 6 year old. We went with the scooter over the power chair because it can be taken apart easily and stored in a regular vehicle. I had a local rep. bring out an Invacare Lynx and a Pride Mobility GoGo Elite to try. They were remarkably similar. However, with the GoGo we could order a pediatric seat. Also, the steering column could be adjusted to more positions and be much closer to the driver, important for shorter arms. The GoGo seemed to have a slightly smoother start and a higher speed. I thought I would want the Lynx, but the pediatric seat and steering column swayed us to the GoGo. I definitely recommend the 4 wheeler over the 3 for stability on the turns. As others have mentioned, we are using our MDA funds for this purchase, and we are counting on it seeing us through until the power chair is necessary.
Xavier is almost 7 and we just purchased (the MDA purchased for us) our first scooter. We ended up going with the Golden Pride Buzz around over the Go Go Elite (we went with the 3 wheel version). It is a bit smaller and Xavier found it easier to drive. He test drove both at the DME vendor, we took both apart, put them in our car, studied the battery life, they are basically the same. A good DME vendor should have all styles available for you to try out and see what Cade likes, it's really his choice. For Xavier, he also likes the way the engine runs on the buzz around, the thumb control was less taxing for him and the ramping of the engine speed was more to his liking. We went with a plan to buy the Go Go Elite and left with the Buzz around. The one thing you will want to know is if you get a scooter now and your insurance pays for it, will they pay for a power chair when the time comes? The MDA only pays a small amount of money out to you every 3 years, I recommend using that for your scooter now, because power chairs cost so much more, that is one expense you do not want to take on out of pocket. Good Luck!

Check what your insurance will cover for durable medical equipment (DME). We have an HMO plan and almost went over to a PPO plan until I learned the PPO plan would pay for the first $500 and anything after that would be our cost.

Our HMO plan covered the full price of the Permobile 400 Junior stander. The cost was approximately $44,000. When considering a wheelchair you need to also consider if your vehicle will transport it or how to transport it.

We also have a three wheel GoGo scooter. My son is 16 years old, does not walk. The three wheel scooter does not offer the stability a four wheel scooter offers, however, the turning radius allows him to get around in tighter areas. He has had no problems with stability on the three wheel scooter. I have posted earlier about where you can go to get information for a GoGo scooter to be modified to better fit your child's needs. They will only do this with a four wheel scooter.

The wheelchair always provides the best support for your child. Does your child need that support at this time?

MDA pays $2,000 every three years for DME equipment like scooters, wheelchairs and when the person is 18 years it is every 5 years. They pay $500 for repairs every year.

Your insurance may cover the cost of another piece of DME equipment after 3-5 years if you can justify the changes within your child's needs.

You can also contact your local MDA office so they can inform you of the loan closet.

I hope this information helps.

All the best,

God to know about the repair thing, Julie. I am going to check into that as Kev uses his Amigo all the time instead of a bike or walking to a friends.

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