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Our Power Chair Superwoman

January 18, 2011 by Bill Strong

Today was an incredible day for us and for Gwendolyn. Her shiny new power chair has been in for about a month, but we've been tweaking and fine tuning the set-up weekly so it fits perfectly and provides her the best positioning to drive independently. There are still more tweaks to be made, but today Gwendolyn was able to sit in her power chair and drive for a prolonged period of time in the parking lot of her therapy unit for the first time. She only has control to go straight and right for now -- we'll add back and left later -- but that isn't slowing her down one bit!

And...oh...did she drive. She was driving in the chair for almost 40 minutes total -- which is incredible -- and she spent a period of about 15 minutes driving...by herself...without any assistance and without hitting any curbs, etc. or making any moves that would make us turn the chair off and adjust her direction. Today it clicked. She got it. She was comfortable. She was confident. And she was determined. And let me tell you it was incredible to watch and Gwendolyn loved every second of it.

I'm so extremely proud of Gwendolyn. This is not a small step for her. It's major. Think about this. She's never been in control of independently propelling or moving herself in any material way in her entire life. And now she has. And now she can. She loves it. We love it. And we can't wait to see her continue to master the power chair and embrace her new found independence and freedom.

Watch out world! Gwendolyn has wheels now...and she knows how to use them smile

Talk About It

Go Gwendolyn go!!!!!
Posted by Margaret on 2011-01-18 15:05:18
you are going to be running after her all over the place now! lol!
Posted by maggie on 2011-01-18 15:24:37
Goooo Gwendolyn!!!
Posted by Jennifer Garner on 2011-01-18 15:44:05
Amazing technology and amazing mobility and sense of independence it must offer her. So happy for you all!
Posted by gettyowl on 2011-01-18 16:20:46
YAY GWENDOLYN!!!! This is amazing!!!!!!
Posted by Devon on 2011-01-18 18:05:32
Tears of joy for Gwendolyn!! That was truly amazing and a real joy to watch!! So thrilled for all of you!!
Posted by Kristen on 2011-01-18 18:10:09
This is amazing. Go Gwendolyn go!!! --Mari
Posted by Mari on 2011-01-18 18:11:42
Tears of joy, that is amazing! I can only imagine the excitement for all of you....awesome! Hugs, Em
Posted by Emma on 2011-01-18 18:16:33
This is amazing....I'm so so happy for you all....can't wait to hear all about Gwendolyn's new adventures!
Posted by Lisa Moffat on 2011-01-18 18:55:03
unbelievable and fantastic!!!! A girl after my own heart - loving her wheels!
Posted by Sheri on 2011-01-18 20:15:43
THIS IS SO EXCITING!
Posted by Alli G on 2011-01-18 20:49:19
Wow! Good Job Gwendolyn, Go, Go Go! You are incredible! I think I am going to watch that a couple more times:)
Posted by Cherisse on 2011-01-18 20:52:13
Outstanding! Awesome!
Posted by MT Grandma on 2011-01-18 22:27:47
AWESOME. I just love seeing little ones experiencing the freedom of movement for the first(ish) time. Good job, Gwendolyn! I have an observation. I'm trying to be careful and not sound as if I am criticising, please forgive me if I do - I'm not good with words. But. You ask Gwendolyn the same thing, or a variant of it, maybe a couple of dozen times in the video: about getting her to come to you for a hug. It's utterly adorable... but I'm wondering if Gwendolyn might have been getting a little bit bored with the repetition, and ‘switching off’ a bit because of it. I'm going to write some of the things I've done with little kids trying out and learning to use powerchairs (I am a powerchair user myself, by the way) Ideas for extra ways for G. to show off and indeed improve her powerchair skills: Chasing games (both ways-she chases you, you chase her) Helping out - give her something on her lap or tray and ask her to go take it to her mama etc. Get some sidewalk chalk and play with number/letter/picture recognition (for instance, draw boxes a little bigger than the chair and ask her to find how many years old she is, or how many fingers etc.) Doing races or relay with other kids in wheelchairs, on bikes and scooters and such. ‘football’/soccer - use a nice big beach ball and have her shoot goals (they LOVE this)
Posted by Becca on 2011-01-19 04:18:15
One BIG challenge after another.. Love her and she look wonderful.. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!
Posted by peggy cameron on 2011-01-19 07:03:25
What size are those Rims. I'm purchasing some dubs for that G ride!
Posted by Wade on 2011-01-19 08:18:08
So fun and an incredible milestone. What a combination miss I know what I want with miss independent. I just love it!
Posted by Ann on 2011-01-19 11:13:31
So AMAZING! I love it!! Way to go Gwendolyn, your new wheels rock!!
Posted by Terri on 2011-01-19 21:37:39
Yay Gwendolyn! She's a pro!!! I was watching that and thinking about how much my own kids who are perfectly able-bodied would LOVE to drive that thing around. It's freedom and one heck of a toy all in one for Miss G:)
Posted by Misty on 2011-01-20 15:04:01
Awesome Miss G !!!!!
Posted by Carol on 2011-01-20 21:19:59
Go get that world Gwendolyn!!! I can't stop smiling after watching that. We love her so much!!
Posted by Jennifer Calafiore on 2011-01-21 10:58:44
[...] the last several months at therapy, Gwendolyn has been working hard on practicing in her power chair and perfecting the setup and controls to give her the best opportunity.... And while she looooooves her power chair, the last couple of weeks Gwendolyn has been back in her [...]
Posted by Stander! — Gwendolyn Strong | Gwendolyn Strong on 2011-03-16 13:01:54

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