Martine is a five year old girl diagnosed with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) and unspecified encephalopathy. She’s unable to walk independently, but is really curious to explore her surroundings and is very active via crawling. She has used the NF-Walker since she was two and a half years old. Today, she masters the device with admirable skills.
Martine has no independent walking function, but can move around quite effectively by using a crawling technique. She can come into a standing position when she finds, for example, a chair or table for support.
Since Martine is very hypermobile it’s important for her to develop strength and stability in her joints. Repetitive movements, for example standing and crawling, are therefore critical to Martine’s progress in addition to using the NF-Walker device.
Martine was first introduced to the NF-Walker as a two year old. The motivation was to try and help stimulate her walking function and improve her abilities for independent movement.
There was also a strong social aspect, as the device brought her to a position at the same eye level as other children, helping to contribute to higher quality social interactions with other children. As well, the increased opportunities for movement and walking enabled by the NF-Walker were intended to strengthen her muscular system and improve her general stability.
Choosing the right helping aid
It was Martine’s physiotherapist who recommended she tried out the NF-Walker. At this point her parents still had little knowledge about the product or it’s potential benefits. But in the NF-Walker, they soon learnt that she could move herself around, when and where she wanted, both inside and outside.
This choice of helping aid was able to provide Martine with the support and security she requires to be able to move independently. The rail system within the NF-Walker also prevents overstretching of her joints, a critical element of addressing her hypermobility. For the last four months she’s been testing out the latest model, the NF-Walker 2.
“I’ve noticed that it’s simpler and quicker to move Martine into the new NF-Walker 2, but she has also become more active in participating in the process.”
– Martine’s kindergarten assistant
Results and Benefits
Today, she has mastered the device with admirable skill, navigating obstacles and going where she wants, something that has definitely boosted her selfesteem and independence.
The experience of successfully walking in the device and the chance to be at the same eye level as other children has given a lot of joy. She also likes to take the initiative, giving strong, clear signals that she wants to use the NF-Walker.
According to her parents, Martine’s indigestion has improved after beginning using the NF-Walker. Not only that, they explain the increased movement has contributed to greater body strength and overall physical stability.
They’ve been able to see that using the NF-Walker has greatly improved the conditions needed for Martine to be able to move independently and participate in social situations.
Over the last four months Martine has been using the latest version, the NF-Walker 2. Both her parents and the staff at her kindergarten, who use the device every day, say that they’re very happy with the new design.
They all agree that the NF-Walker 2 is an elegant solution built to a high-quality standard, with great stability and robustness. The new padding featured on the parts of the device coming into direct contact with the body have really enhanced Martine’s comfort as a user. The new seating solution also makes it possible to move Martine into the device from a sitting position instead of her having to lie down. This means she can take a more active role in the process of getting into the device.