Meet Abraham, he is 7 years old and has Spina Bifida. He attends mainstream school which he enjoys immensely, however he is increasingly aware of how he feels different and wants to join in the same activities as his peer group. Having a trike would certainly help to reduce his social isolation and build upper body strength which would enable him to take part in playground and other social activities with friends and family.
Due to Abraham’s unique issues, getting around on a trike proved to be more difficult than first anticipated. During his first assessment he was not able to move the pedals, this resulted in a rocking action. He also had great difficulty co-ordinating the steering, braking and propulsion. This situation was far from successful but gave an insight in to his ability to only deal with one issue at a time. Firstly, to overcome the rocking effect of the cranks Tomcat came up with the concept of a counterbalanced drive. This had to be designed and made from scratch.
The Carer Control System (essentially an aid to overcome learning difficulties) helps build confidence, fluidity and ease that comes from child and parent working together. This is immensely liberating for Abraham. It means there are no terrains that are too awkward, no slopes too steep!
Abraham was assessed 3 times and the trike redesigned on each occasion. Abraham was eventually transformed in to a boy who was completely at home with the steering and propulsion of his new trike. Otherwise delighted, the only cloud over Abraham’s performance was that;
” The brakes come on if I moved backwards – can you fix it?”
Bob (from Tomcat) went home with his head in his hands, but a few months and a few modifications later he had the “Braking solution”.
With the special features and improvements now completed. D-Day and the moment of truth came. This time Abraham’s performance was absolutely stunning. He had got to grips with every aspect of the trike, everything came naturally to Abraham – RESULT!!!
“I am immensely pleased to hear that Abraham continues to do so well. When I first met him he was shy, reserved, and more than a little dejected. Here was yet another thing he couldn’t manage. When I left him two weeks ago he was saying to me “Mr Tomcat, watch me do this!” Priceless stuff! Thank you so much for your part in making it all happen for him and while I have this opportunity, thank you for all the other children you help us with. We never lose sight of the fact that there would be no Tomcat without your support.
With thanks and best wishes Bob Griffin.”