A specialized therapy at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center allows children with mobility issues to explore the world around them, while helping them heal at the same time.
Nia Houston turns 2 years old in December. She was born with multiple congenital abnormalities, which prevent her from being able to walk.
“Even though their bodies may not let them move as would be typical for their age, this power mobility gives them the ability to move and interact with their environment in a similar way that they would if their body was strong enough to do that,” physical therapist Sara Garcia said.
Garcia said Children’s Hospital and Medical Center is starting the type of therapy earlier than they used to, as soon as babies would start to roll and crawl.
“It’s probably in the last three to five years that it’s really been a focus on how young can we really start teaching kids, so that we can get them moving sooner instead of waiting until they are 3, 4, or 5,” Garcia said.
Nia Houston practices stopping and going in her powered wheelchair, and she learns to grab objects and share them with other.
“It just enhances their ability with cognition to do all that learning that we would expect a typical baby to move into as they turn into 1, 2 and 3,” Garcia said.
Garcia said while most children develop at different rates, if a child isn’t walking by the time they are 15 to 18 months old, parents should contact their pediatrician.Â