About Early Wheels
Do you have questions? Here are answers to frequently asked questions.
Why do you want to do this?
The short answer:
Because all kids deserve the chance to move and explore independently.
The longer answer:
Typical toddlers spend about three hours a day in simultaneous physical activity, play, and engagement with objects such as toys, while their peers with mobility disabilities are much less likely to engage in all of those behaviors at the same time, research from Oregon State University has shown. The study shows the marked differences in play and activity among toddlers with and without disabilities. It also underscores the need for young children with disabilities to have opportunities to play and explore in the same manner as their peers.
Research has also shown that independent mobility is linked to cognitive, social, motor, language and other developmental benefits in young children. Being pushed in a stroller or being carried from one place to another is fundamentally different from having active control over one’s own exploration, which is where the greatest developmental gains are seen.
My child may get a wheelchair when they are older. Why do they need to move now?
Most children who qualify for a wheelchair will not actually receive one until they are two-years-old or older. That means that while other kids are crawling, cruising, and eventually walking, children with mobility issues fall further and further behind,while waiting on a wheelchair that takes 3-6 months to receive. Even if a child will eventually walk with assistance (bracing, crutches, etc), they often miss out on important milestones by not being able to independently explore their environment with their peers. Kids with mobility issues are left in an “infant” daycare room because they are not mobile, while their same age peers are in other rooms, crawling and walking. But what if these same kids could be provided with timely opportunities to move, to explore their environment? Could a whole generation of kids with disabilities be changed?
How does the process work?
Early Wheels will provide kids with a way to move. Early Wheels will come to a therapy or doctor appointment with the child to help determine what toy will need to be used, and what modifications need to be made. Then the toy will be made free of charge to the child. Early Wheels will consult with parents directly to help them figure out safe ways to modify currently owned toys. Early Wheels will also provide support to therapists, providing loaner toys to trial with clients.
Referral to Early Wheels is easy! Use the referral form on the contacts page, or email us directly!
Is it safe?
As with any toy, devices made or modified by Early Wheels should be used with parent supervision. All parents will be asked to sign a release when they receive their toy.
My child not longer needs their wheels. What do I do with it?
Please contact Early Wheels and we will come and pick it up. Our hope is that once cleaned and re-purposed, other children may also benefit from early movement.
How are you funded?
We function solely thru volunteer support and donations, not only monetary, but of toys and booster seats as well. We are a non for profit in the State of Texas and have been granted 501c3 status. All donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated!
Specifically you can:
Pray: That the Lord will provide mobility opportunities for all kids that request one.
Volunteer: To help build a car during a “group build”.
Donate: Used ride on vehicles and used high chair booster seats.
Give: Donations to help pay for vehicles is always appreciated.
Each Booster Scooter costs about $50 to build, not including the actual booster seat that goes in it. (which can add $0-$40)
It costs $100-200 to modify a ride on car, depending on a child’s specific needs.
More Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org