Supporting A Child In A Wheelchair
04 Nov 2021
Wheelchairs are incredibly powerful tools that are used by individuals across the country. They are so empowering, allowing the user to move independently and live their life at their own pace. Unfortunately, there has been a stigma built around the use of wheelchairs which suggests older people are the primary users. The truth is, across the UK people of all ages are benefiting from using a manual or powered wheelchair to assist them with everyday tasks and movement. It’s incredibly important that stereotypes surrounding disability are broken to allow young people using wheelchairs to feel heard and represented. As a parent or guardian, your support is essential for your child, and there are a variety of ways you can offer valuable support and guidance. For more tips on supporting a child in a wheelchair, keep reading.
Wheelchair Support Groups For Children
Whether or not your child has always used a wheelchair, or has only recently begun to use one, your support is essential to them. At times, using a wheelchair as a younger person can be isolating, particularly if they don’t have friends or relatives in the same situation. Having a support network of people is really important, and finding those they can relate to is crucial. The online world means that you can find local communities in your area at ease. Social media networks such as Facebook provide helpful groups where your child can connect with others in their situation and even those who live locally. This gives them a network of people that they can understand and talk to.
Role Models With Disabilities
Encourage your child to find role models who they find inspiring and can look up to. Films, TV programmes and books featuring a character who uses a wheelchair helps ensure your child feels represented. Encourage open conversation about your child’s wheelchair, ensuring they know they can share thoughts and feelings with you.
Charities like Whizz-Kidz, have a huge range of resources available including blogs and newsletters. These cover a huge range of topics including money management through to being a wheelchair user at university. Giving your child access to resources that help them feel understood, whilst giving real-world advice, is very valuable. Whizz-Kidz also has a families section that offers practical support and information for parents and loved ones of those using a wheelchair. If you are feeling overwhelmed as a parent, it’s important to seek the necessary help to conquer this. A support network and therapy are just as important as a parent to ensure you can continue providing the best care for your child. Having a child with additional needs can feel daunting at times, and taking time for yourself is hugely important.
Supporting a child in a wheelchair involves not only emotional but practical support. We encourage you to check activities and venues to ensure they have the appropriate wheelchair facilities. Although many places are accessible, it’s valuable to check ahead of time to ensure an easy and enjoyable day out. If your child has just recently started using a wheelchair, there are many small things you can adjust to ensure your child can move around the house with ease, such as lower tables, removing rugs and moving things that could be easily knocked over or cause blockages for your child’s chair.
Wheelchair sports are hugely popular and a great way to boost self-confidence whilst connecting with a team and having fun. Particularly if the individual is new to using a wheelchair, doing something which feels familiar is especially comforting and rewarding. The majority of sports can be modified to be played in a wheelchair, so if they have a favourite sport, chances are it can be adapted. Supporting your child’s mental health is essential, and sports are another way they can nurture mental wellbeing and develop healthy habits. Wheelchair sports such as Basketball is excellent for building precision, muscle and stamina. Engaging as part of a team is also valuable, allowing the individual to form new friendships and connections, as well as having role models and a team of people who they can relate to is really important for mental health and your child’s development. Discover our Wheelchair Sports 101 article.
One of the most important things you can do is to ensure your child knows that they can do anything. As a parent, worrying about your child is inevitable, but the more you demonstrate confidence, the more assured your child will feel. Give them the skills and understanding to meet life with a positive outlook and an open mind, knowing they can achieve their goals and work at their own pace.
Tips for Supporting a Child in a Wheelchair Round-Up
- Wheelchair support groups for children
- Work with charities offering a range of support and resources
- Research venues before visiting
- Join a wheelchair sports team
- Empower your child to feel confident in their wheelchair
For added confidence and peace of mind, find out more about our comprehensive Wheelchair Insurance. At Blue Badge we are specialist providers of mobility insurance including manual and electric wheelchair insurance, allowing us to offer support to wheelchair users of all ages. Our insurance keeps you or your loved ones moving and independent in the event of loss, theft or damage to your wheelchair to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Our manual wheelchair insurance covers:
- Up to £2 Million Public Liability insurance
- Theft, Damage or Loss of your manual wheelchair
- 90 Days Holiday Cover
- Loss or theft of personal effects
- Optional Puncture cover
- No fees for policy changes
Give our team a call today for a free, non-obligatory chat about our services.