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Jaxon Goes For a Swing

Jaxon is a familiar face at TAD. Jaxon is seven years old and has Muscular Dystrophy (MD).

He uses a motorised wheelchair to get around and has difficulty walking or standing.

Over the years, TAD has provided Jaxon with a bath seat, a standing frame, a modified walking frame and two Freedom Wheels bikes as he’s grown bigger.

This year, Jaxon wanted to be able to play on the swing set in the backyard. Due to his MD, he has difficulty maintaining his posture, making it a challenge to stay upright and balance. Jaxon’s mum, Lija, called TAD.

TAD’s volunteer, Bob Cook and Physiotherapist, Brendan Worne, visited the Taylors to do an assessment and see what solution would be suitable.

Brendan and Bob looked at Jaxon’s balance and postural control, as well as what could be designed to hold up his trunk, while being stable.

Bob measured Jaxon and came up with a design for the swing which would suit Jaxon and also fit the families’ swing set. The design incorporates a tilt in swing seat which allows gravity to support Jaxon’s upper body when he’s swinging. It also has a belt around his waist for safety, to stop him sliding off.

The swing was ready to be built. Bob bent some pieces of stainless steel tubing for the frame. Another TAD volunteer, Alan Stone, then welded the frame tubes together and sewed the seat cover and straps. Bob and Brendan then delivered the swing, installing it on the Taylor’s swing set. Bob tested it out for safety.

“It’s good because it’s adult proof!” Jaxon says. “I haven’t gone too high yet because I’m a bit of a worry wort. But the good thing about it is if I fall back, I don’t fall because of the back support. It’s a good idea.”

Lija says, “He’s so happy every afternoon, it makes him feel good. As a family we can spend time out in the backyard together and it’s something he can do on his own.”

When asked who could swing higher out of Jaxon and his brother, Jett, Jaxon says, “I can because my swing is bigger and has more power – his swing is only plastic but mine has metal.”

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TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.