Walking aids for spinal bifida — Scope | Disability forum
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Walking aids for spinal bifida

System Posts: 702

Scope community team


  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Hello Andy

    My son has a physical disability. We are currently looking at the options and adaptations out there. Do you have any recommendations on walking aids for a child with Spina Bifida or not? We need something that essentially allows him to be able to move independently around the flat. 
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    @Andy_Assistive or @Ryan_Assistive can you help?
    Senior online community officer
  • Andy_Scope
    Andy_Scope Scope adviser Posts: 46 Courageous
    Hi @April2018mom
    The Assistive Technologies that we cover are digital (ipads, computers etc) rather than mobility aids. 
    Unfortunately we are not the right people to ask.

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Andy_Assistive

    Could you help at all @Jean_Scope ?
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Remap work with disabled people to tailor equipment to their needs and abilities, ranging from equipment to carry out everyday tasks to leisure and sports equipment that makes previously impossible abilities possible.

    The NHS say:


    Physiotherapy is an important way of helping someone with spina bifida to become as independent as possible. The main aim is to help with movement, prevent deformity, and stop the leg muscles weakening further.

    This may involve daily exercises to help maintain strength in the leg muscles, as well as wearing special splints to support the legs.

    Occupational therapy

    Occupational therapy can help people find ways to carry out everyday activities and become more independent.

    An occupational therapist can help work out practical solutions to problem areas such as getting dressed. They may for example provide equipment, such as handrails, to make the activity easier.

    Mobility aids

    People who are unable to use their legs at all will usually require a wheelchair. Electric wheelchairs are available, but using a manual wheelchair can help to maintain good upper body strength.

    Leg braces, splints and other walking aids can be used by people who have weak leg muscles.

    Read more about treating paralysis and choosing mobility equipment, wheelchairs and scooters.

    Senior online community officer
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering
    Hi @April2018mom

    Thanks to @Sam_Scope for bringing this conversation to my page.

    Walking aids (with the exception of the cutting edge robotic exoskeleton devises) aren't normally within the remit of assistive  technology professionals.

    Walking aids are something that you need to be talking about with your sons Occupational Therapist (OT) or Physiotherapist. If you don't already have an OT or Physiotherapist involved your son's GP or consultant can make a referral.

    There are many types of paediatric walking aids available (sticks, frames, walkers, etc) and the professional will assess your son's needs and prescribe the aid or aids most appropriate to his needs. It would be inappropriate for me to speculate on what what aid your son needs, this requires proper individual assessment.

    Here are some links to pictures of the type of walking aids used by many children with spina bifida, but of course it is important to remember that the condition impacts on each child in a way that is specific for them as an individual: 

    Sam_Scope mentioned REMAP but really  they only get involved in adapting equipment if there isn't anything commercially available.

    Presumably you are also aware of the Spina Bifida charity Shine, they have information about mobility on their website:  https://www.shinecharity.org.uk/what-to-expect/early-mobility-and-the-role-of-physiotherapy

    Best Wishes



    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Yes we are. I am meeting with his therapists on Monday morning to talk about adaptive equipment and home modifications too. My son is seen by a Spina Bifida clinic at a Children’s Hospital in London. I’m going to take a look at the links you posted. Thanks for answering my questions.
    Sorry for not replying but I’ve been really busy. 


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