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Redesigning A Home With Your Child's Mobility In Mind

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A Change In Perspective: Redesigning A Home With Your Child's Mobility In Mind

A child who struggles with their mobility can grow up feeling alone and uncomfortably different. This should not be the case. In the United States, 6.8 million people use assistive mobility devices of some kind in order to move around their homes, offices, and cities on a daily basis. That mobility becomes an especially powerful thing when it is partnered with accessibility. Accessibility is essential to making sure that a child who struggles with mobility is able to feel as independent as possible. If you’re raising a child with a wheel chair, crutches, or another form of assistive device, then consider the ways you can make your home a place that’s more accommodating.

Find Ways To Make Space

Most homes are architecturally designed for able-bodied people. As such, little things like the size of the entry way into your hall, might not initially strike you as obstacles to a child who struggles with mobility. However, when you’re a parent, it’s important that you look at your home from your child’s perspective. Doorways, for example, should be widened to 32” minimum in order to accommodate a wheelchair. You may also want to forgo fluffier carpets to make it easier for your child’s wheels to gain traction.

Keep Individuality in Mind

Of course, any modifications you make to your home, need to keep your child’s particular needs in mind. If your child doesn’t use a wheelchair but instead relies on crutches, then ask yourself: what kind of tools can I implement to ensure that it’s easier for my child to interact with me around our home? Consider installing handrails for your child to lean on while at rest. Make sure that there’s space in their bathroom for them to maneuver and supports that they can use while bathing. For those children who are wheelchair-bound, consider lowering the height at which your light switches are kept. These small changes can make your child feel comfortable in a place that’s meant for them.

Use Smart Devices

Because this is the age of the Internet, you can also use smart devices around the home to make your child’s life a little easier. Installing smart locks on the front and garage doors will allow your child to come inside without struggling to maintain balance. Smart watches will help keep an eye on his or her health and will let you know when help is needed. Artificial Intelligence personal assistants can turn off the lights for your child when they are ready for bed so they don't have to get up and do it themselves. It may not seem like a lot, but these changes are more empowering than you could imagine.

When you’re raising a child who struggles with mobility, the most important thing you can do is try and think about the world from their perspective. Talk to them and ask what he or she struggles with. Once the two of you have brainstormed together, you can start transforming your home into a place where your child feels that they can comfortably and confidently be themself.


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