Looking for Special Needs Stroller for 6-9 y.o.

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  1. Can someone recommend a good special needs stroller for a young child, 6yo? 5 pt harness, would like to be able to seat up to 70lbs (over a few years).

    My son is getting too big for the regular strollers and it's been difficult to get one through state services because he is ambulatory -- I *really* need to keep him contained and safe for many reasons when we are out in public.

    We had him in a shopping cart the other day and he wanted no part of it and nearly injured himself trying to buck out of the cart. When I let him out, all he wants to do is take off running from me or thrash about on the ground. I know that this will get better when he gets a little older but we seriously need to do something about it for the next few years. Very stressful. I've become somewhat numb to the unpredictability of it all but he's going to end up hurt or lost when he gets bigger and stronger...

    Can anyone suggest a good stroller? I would like something very sturdy, preferably more than a umbrella stroller and possibly a jogger.

    p.s. my child has autism.
  2. I know that Baby Jogger and Dreamer Design make special needs joggers.

    Another possibility is to get a very good quality bike trailer like Chariot carriers. They are taller, can having stroller type wheels or jogging wheel. There are all sorts of things. if he has autism and gets overwhelmed in crowds, the Chariot strollers might work. There are even companies that make bike carriers for special needs (i.e. older to adult children).
  3. I have been told that a zippy wheel chair folds down like a stroller yet it can be wheeled onto a bus or other places pretty easily. The bus driver told me this from my daughter special needs school. It is hard to find a large stroller.
  4. Also, you may want to check with the local chapter of St Judes or Shriners who lend out used and outgrown equipment for children with special needs. I believe it is a free service.
  5. BBB and kcf68,

    thanks for the great suggestions, I will look into the ones I haven't heard of this morning.

    We had looked at the Dreamer Design (the mobility version) from a health provider (via Medicaid) but we were told that it would be extremely hard to have that approved. We decided to choose the Lightning Pediatric stroller. I figured I'd ask the forum members about strollers if this fell through and find a less costly alternative. The strollers mentioned are about $800-$1000.

    Well, the bomb dropped this morning. According to our provider, my son's therapist didn't deem the pediatric stroller necessary because he is ambulatory so the application is now in limbo. This is disappointing since we alerted them earlier and the therapist won't agree he needs one but we really need to keep my son secure in the stroller when we're out with him. I do not know if it is worth it to try to get an independent (OT/PT) therapist's evaluation done on my son to complete that part of the application... after all, our need for the stroller is one of safety. We may need to pay out of pocket for one... sorry for the vent!! :crybaby:
  6. Sorry about that! We got several pieces of equipment from the lending program and they were practically new. Our insurance has paid for several pieces of equipment and we plan to donate those to the program so another child can benefit. Please check into those programs! You might want to ask network with other people to find out if there is such a program in your area....Sorry BTW
  7. #7 Jan 23, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
    I don't know where you live, but keep your eyes open on craigslist and ebay. I've seen some special needs stroller (for older kids) come up fairly regularly. I'm even sure there would be mom's here who would be willing to ship for you. I've done that lots of times for moms on a stroller board I belong to.

    ETA: I just typed in special needs stroller on ebay and two "used" ones popped up that might work for you. Nothing is on my CL currently.
  8. Thank you I'm so grateful for all these leads!

    I'll be asking our case coordinator about lending programs when she visits next week. In the meantime, we are thrilled to see special needs strollers on eBay... I will do my pricing research!
  9. I am sorry to hear that you are having a hard time getting this covered. I am surprised that a therapist wouldn't put this reccomendation/order through in the interest of what you feel is appropriate for your family situation and for your child's needs. For example, a toddler is ambulatory but there are sometimes when you need them to be restrained for their safety and when you as a parent need to just get things done. I am sure this is the same for an older child with specific needs. I think that providers should listen more to the needs of the parents and act accordingly. I also hope that you find something that you can use and that your child is comfortable with. I saw that Maclaren makes a stroller that sounds like it fits your description. Hope everything goes ok !
  10. I was just thinking something similar. The therapist is seeing your child while in a quiet, calm environment. Maybe he/she should try to go to the mall or the grocery store and see what happens and THEN give an eval. Maybe you can request something like that?

    Of course, what he/she might say is that these 'outside' environments stress your child too much and so you should not be taking them out and by approving the stroller/wheelchair, they feel that maybe 1. it will be abused (strapping a kid in who doesn't need it and leading to other problems) or 2. approving it means you are adding stress to a child who would be better off at home.

    I'm not saying I agree with that, just trying to think of the therapists reasoning.
  11. Mrs. MC and BBB, we were thinking exactly the same. As a result of the therapist's refusal to recommend, the stroller provider called me to say the insurance group put him on "red flag" because the application was not supported by the therapist and somehow, it made it seem like we were trying to get services we didn't need. I was pretty surprised and in disbelief; I felt we were slapped on the hand for being selfish and/or sneaky?!

    BBB, I had stated our cause to the school therapist and principal quite clearly before the application was submitted so I have to believe they understood our need for our child but they basically believe that the stroller does not suit the "educational" needs of our son because they have to account for it in their reports and follow the mission of the school.

    The only thing is, our insurance is providing the stroller, not the school. We already had a script from our child's pediatrician but it wasn't enough. Even if the school believed the stroller wasn't necessary in the educational sense, the therapist could have recommended that a SN stroller would provide the child adequate safety if he were out in a large public area like the city or near traffic.

    Just wanted to flesh out the details a little more for you -- I guess it's one of those issues that has fallen neither here or there. Even if a child is awarded a (Medicaid) insurance waiver, there is no guarantee they get the services they need.

    I know tho and understand... that there are children who require the use of wheelchairs and pediatric strollers 100% of the time for limb support and much more severe disabilities so I haven't pressed it further since I am sure that was the issue.

    We're relieved to find the opportunity for getting one on eBay at a reasonable price or secondhand so that's a really good avenue for us right now once we have the funds. For the time being, we'll continue using the wrist tether and harness. I have hopes my child's ability to follow commands like "stop" and answer to his name will improve in time so we won't need the stroller by the time he's 10 or 12.