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View Full Version : Can we talk about special needs strollers again?



AmyinWI
01-15-2012, 01:18 PM
My G is 4yo and although pretty small for his age, it is getting hard to find a stroller to suit him.

We were given a medical stroller (looks like a wheelchair) that is pretty small, but still too big for him,and only has a waist belt. He needs the shoulder harness to keep him from leaning forward/tipping the chair.

Also would prefer something that tilts back a bit, he will kick the wheels/get his shoes caught in them, or he will try grabbing the wheels if he can lean forward. He won't keep his feet on a support strap, which is why I want something that tilts back just a little.

We have a jogger stroller that has been working well, but it's a bit big for the back of our van ,so I'm looking for somethign a bit more streamlined.


Also- I dont' want to pay more than $300 (some of those medical strollers are soooo expensive, I am in shock!)
And just to clarify, I don't know if insurance would cover this, because it's not like he can't walk. But any length of a distance, he will either tire out , or refuse to walk (we're not sure which). Just a few weeks ago, he decided to plop down in the middle of walmart parking lot because he decided he wasn't walking another step. So we need something for situations that involve just a bit more walking.
Am I asking the impossible?

amanda b
01-17-2012, 11:43 AM
Insurance has been known to pay for adaptive strollers for children who can't/won't walk, or tire easily, or with autism who need it for safety- so you should try for it for sure! The key is usually to get a script from your dr that says "pediatric wheelchair"- it's coded differently than a stroller. Insurance won't pay for a stroller, but will pay for it if it's requested as a wheelchair, plus you'll need a letter of medical necessity from your PT (if you have one) or your Dr.

Medicaid is much pickier about paying for equipment than private insurance.

Have you looked at the adaptive mall site at all? If you aren't going through insurance, they have the special tomato stroller- EIO pushchair (not the jogging or umbrella stroller), it reclines and I've heard good things about it for a decent priced stroller. It has a 5 point harness and foot rest built in & it's taller than a Maclearn so it would last him longer. And it folds up and is much lighter than most adaptive strollers/ pediatric wheelchairs. We have discussed getting one to use since it's so much lighter than our other chair. It's $450, but you could save up for it or try to get insurance to spring for it:)

They (adaptivemall.com) also have a wish list you can sign up for and people (family members or so for bday gifts, etc) can donate $ until you have enough to pay for it.

http://www.adaptivemall.com/sptoeiopuch.html is the link to the stroller itself.

We have a Kimba (so expensive) because my son needs a ton of support, but I've researched other strollers quite a bit too. I've also heard great things about the Convaid Cruiser, but it's pricier.

I've also seen quite a few on ebay on and off. Our first chair we borrowed from our local college loan program, so you might have some sort of equipment loan program near you thruough a children's hospital or early intervention program- worth checking out. Good luck!

Hollie in SC
01-17-2012, 11:49 AM
We have the Special Tomato for Noah (via our Medicaid). It is very nice, but it is LARGE. We have a Dodge Grand Caravan and it literally takes up half the space in the trunk unless we put one of the back seats down to make more space. That being said, it rolls like a dream and we love it. We took it to Disney in Sept. and it was wonderful. And so far, Houdini, hasn't escaped from it. :lol: It is a little tricky to put up and down. The vendor we used put it together for us and he did say it was a tad tricky as well.

When Noah was that age, we bought the cheapest Maclaren stroller style. I searched and found the previous year's version for about 80.00. I tested him out at Toys R Us with one on the demo floor. However, it is not a 5 pt harness and I don't know if they are now. :unsure: We loved it, too, until he got too big. We still use it some as it is very light and easy to deal with if we have a short run to make into a store or doctor.

Lindsey Carter
01-17-2012, 11:28 PM
I'm stroller shopping too, although I am looking for a different type for my dd with arthritis. I came across this website it looks like it may have some like you are interested in. http://www.convaid.com/pediatric-wheelchair-stroller.html I don't have any personal experience. I was using an umbrella stroller but at 7 yrs old she broke it. I found the info on this thread helpful. Tomorrow I take my dd to her apointment with the head of ped. tomorrow. I hope he will be willing to prescribe a wheelchair for my dd. :D

Hollie in SC
01-18-2012, 06:56 AM
Lindsey, Convaid has a good reputation. It was the first one suggested to us. We also looked at the Maclarens which are similar. Let us know how the appt. goes.

AmyinWI
01-18-2012, 11:34 PM
We have the Special Tomato for Noah (via our Medicaid). It is very nice, but it is LARGE. We have a Dodge Grand Caravan and it literally takes up half the space in the trunk unless we put one of the back seats down to make more space. .


I've been looking at the special tomato stroller for a few years now. We were getting by ok with a used jogging stroller,but that is getting worn out now (Gabe is just so hard on everything!!! )

If it fits in your caravan it should fit in our 12 passenger. :) I was just hoping for a lighter version. I will have to look around to find where we can "test drive " a maclaren, have no idea where to find one around here.

I do have one question about the insurance paying for the special tomato. Did you have to go through a medical equipment provider, or were you able to get it directly through the adaptive mall site, and how did that work with the insurance? Gabe has our private insurance,but also medicaid as a backup, I'm guessing one of them would pay for it. Just dont' know the hoops to jump through.:unsure:

Hollie in SC
01-19-2012, 07:28 AM
I do have one question about the insurance paying for the special tomato. Did you have to go through a medical equipment provider, or were you able to get it directly through the adaptive mall site, and how did that work with the insurance? Gabe has our private insurance,but also medicaid as a backup, I'm guessing one of them would pay for it. Just dont' know the hoops to jump through.:unsure:

I accidentally wrote vendor above, but I meant a medical equip. provider. We did it all through Noah's last school (all of the students have special needs)as he needed a letter from a PT and since they were on site it was easy. The school knew several providers since they do it all the time.

It is heavy :p, but it also not one that Noah should be able to easily tip over. It is hard to weigh it all. :spin: We pondered and pondered. When it came I was :eek: over the size. However, it is working well for us. Well, except for the fact that it isn't one that we can take on a plane easily (as far as I can tell). If we could, our trip to Yellowstone would happen this summer.

amanda b
01-23-2012, 06:13 PM
Holly-
Are you able to rent a chair from a vendor? A different style may by easier to fold and take on a plane (thinking more tradtional folding wheelchair style just for your trip). Just a thought-

Hollie in SC
01-23-2012, 06:15 PM
Holly-
Are you able to rent a chair from a vendor? A different style may by easier to fold and take on a plane (thinking more tradtional folding wheelchair style just for your trip). Just a thought-

I have no idea :D, but I will tuck that idea away for future reference. Thank you. :kiss: