Whether its children out with their friends or businessmen speeding to the office, the scooter has become a common sight on the streets of Australia.
Fourteen year old Meret is a bubbly and determined girl who has wanted a scooter for years. Meret has Cerebral Palsy with hemiplegia on the right side which affects her control and balance.
“Meret was very keen to get a scooter but was unable to balance with just two wheels,“ explains mum Jane. “We talked to Meret’s physio Eliza from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to see if she thought there would be any possibility for Meret to ride a scooter.’”
The trio went to their local skate shop to find out what was available but could only find three wheeled scooters for children and none for teenagers. Physio Eliza got in touch with TAD to find out if a regular scooter could be modified to have an extra wheel on the back.
Volunteer Bruce Watts and TAD physiotherapist Brendan met with Meret at TAD to assess her ability on the regular scooter and afterwards Bruce got to work on the modification
Bruce cut off the back of the scooter and made an axle to connect the original back wheel to a second spare wheel with pieces that he fabricated from scratch. He also added a footcup to the base of the scooter so that Meret’s foot would not slide back into the wheels.
Once this was complete Meret came back to try out the scooter. “The trial went really well.” says Jane. “I didn’t want the scooter to be too balanced because I wanted Meret to be able to work on her balance and build it up and it was stable enough for her to do that.”
The scooter has therapeutic benefits as Meret is required to hold herself in a straight position and balance on one leg which will improve her muscle strength and balance.
After the trial it was decided the scooter would need a brake over the back right-side wheel for when Meret was able to build up her speed.
Now Meret is thrilled with her scooter and rides with her family often – even mum Jane has a go! “We recently managed a three kilometre trip with Meret on her scooter which was wonderful and often we go out together on the bike path near our house, Meret loves her scooter!”