More Support on The Pacer Gait Trainer

This is a little piece I put together a couple of years ago when I was trying desperately to make the gait trainer (that my son loved) work with all of his leaning and poor trunk control.  Trays always help him with this, as he can use his arms to help bolster himself up…so this is what I did.  It lasted a while.

All modifications eventually fall apart and need to be modified, but if it helps for a few months or year, it’s worth it!

That’s what this tray did!  Here is my son before the tray:

Our Homemade tray on the gait trainer…an idea when more support and less restriction is needed.
I realize that I am way too proud about my little home-ec-for-special-needs-Mom-Project…but in order to possibly help out someone else out there that could benefit from it…here is my little summary (I took pics along the way to submit to the company…in the hope that by the time B is 6 foot something I don’t have to continue in making huge elaborate foam trays.)
So the thing came with these arm rests, but the problem is that B’s arms don’t rest…even when velcroed in all nice and snug…he moves too much and just ends up with arms stuck in all sorts of funny positions and fingers bent backwards. He also needs some degree of freedom to move while getting enough support to do so effectively.So one day I got frustrated enough to take a knife to a kickboard and grab the roll of duct tape. A few days later (when this creation was smelly with day old spitup) I cut that puppy off and grabed the pool “noodles” and, of course, duct tape…and tried again…but the noodles were too bulky up in his armpits…and he couldn’t support his weight…not to mention everything was sagging in the middle because of all of the pressure he put on it.So 3rd try…the charm (for a few hours at least) I ordered some 2.2 lb closed cell polyethylene EVA foam http://www.closedcellfoams.com/polyethylene.html (a little bit firmer than what “noodles” are made of) cut it up
grabbed some slats from our faux blinds that I had been meaning to shorten for a year, taped them on to keep it from bowing and make it firm,
added some duct tape straps to the foam, and wrapped one blind slat with some 1/4″ 1.7lb polethylene and taped it up (for the much needed trunk support)

Then I tried to make it pretty with some car fabric (duct taped on…of course) and taped vinyl on over that…no more messes I can’t clean up!

Time will tell…but for now I am really pumped…and B is too! (It still needs a little more duct tape doctoring…to make it look prettier along the bottom…but I’ll save that for later.)

if you'd like to email, you may do so at arearrangedlife at gmail dot com

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