Social interaction with other children is made possible with NF-Walker, and Innowalk in particular helps prevent secondary complications.
Tobias is a 10 years old lovely boy with CP, GMFCS V. He was born with severe brain damage and the doctors predicted a short life. Against all odds, because Tobias is such a fighter, he proved everyone wrong and has had a very good development.
He started using Innowalk when he was 4 years old and expanded the activity to include use of NF-Walker when he was 8. For the caregivers the most important aspect of his life is that he feels well and can participate in everyday activities.
“The NF-Walker gives an opportunity to get close to and feel included with friends in kindergarten s and school situations in a much better way that with other helping aids”
– Tobias’ school assistant
Tobias has no independent ability to sit, stand or walk; in addition, he is spastic. He struggles with slime formation, and as a consequence he uses a CPAP machine four times day and night.
In May 2011 Tobias had surgery on both of his hips due to double-sided luxation. They also loosened up the hamstrings. His hips are being followed-up yearly with x-rays and they have been stable since the intervention. Furthermore, Tobias has no scoliosis or spine deformities and no contractures in his legs.
The therapist wanted to improve physical health aspects such as respiration, slime formation, digestion and prevention of contractures and deformities. Tobias’ assistant at school was also of the opinion that social interaction and inclusion are vital parameters to work on in the school environment.
She had previously experienced how NF-Walker had contributed to participation and communication, especially with other children where intimacy is a lot easier to achieve with NF-Walker than with for instance a wheelchair.
The choice of helping aid
In the start, Innowalk was chosen to get Tobias up in a standing position with assisted movement. The movement activates the cardiorespiratory system and improves gastrointestinal function. Weight-bearing and correction help prevent deformities and contractures. It also initiates independent use of the legs and help teach normal gait pattern.
Today, Tobias uses Innowalk at home 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon.
After a few years with Innowalk the assistant wanted Tobias to try NF-Walker. To be able to walk independently in an aid was something very few believed that he ever could do, but Innowalk has probably laid the groundwork for the skill.
At school Tobias now uses NF-Walker 3-4 times a week and a standing frame the rest of the days. The assistant sees a big difference in his… ability for independent movement depending on the frequency of using a walking aid compared to a static standing frame. She concludes that regularity of movement training is key for optimal results.
Result and effect
After starting with the helping aids Tobias has had a marvelous development. The movement and physical activity in Innowalk helps him cough and get rid of slime. The digestion has also improved.
Moreover, the combination of interventions has prevented contractures and deformities.
In both Innowalk and NF-Walker it is a lot easier to connect with Tobias since he then is at the same eye level as everyone else. This position facilitates interaction, play and learning. He responds well to intimacy and body contact, and he expresses great joy when he understands that it is time for movement – both before, during and after the activity. He has become a very happy boy!