Adapted trike & Water Table
Henry, who has the genetic disorder Angelman Syndrome, was first awarded a grant from Children Today for a water table when he was three-years-old.
Angelman Syndrome affects the nervous system and can cause severe physical and intellectual disability. In fact, when Henry first received his water table he could only just stand up and Henry’s mum believes the equipment has assisted him in his physical development.
Henry’s mum, Clare, says:
“Henry was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome when he was just 17-months-old. His development was very delayed. He didn’t start walking until he was about three and a half and he’s non-verbal, but he’s just the sweetest little boy. He’s full of smiles and he’s very sociable.
“Henry’s had a lot of good use out of the water table over the years – it’s really helped with his mobility and balance, now he can walk independently.”
The water table has helped provide Henry with sensory stimulation and he is particularly fascinated with water, a common trait in those with his condition.
After having had support with funding for the water table several years ago, Clare reached out to Children Today again for support towards an adapted trike.
Henry is now nine years old and his Clare has described how an adapted trike has been a gamechanger for her son, enabling him to get regular exercise in a fun way. Clare adds:
“It’s really important for Henry to be active but trying to encourage him to exercise can be a challenge. The options for exercise are more limited due to his condition and finding something that he actually enjoys isn’t easy. We try to walk as much as possible, but he can get very bored of walking quickly.
“We’d had an adapted trike for Henry when he was younger, which he loved but he outgrew it during the pandemic. With the COVID restrictions, we had to wait a long time to get an assessment for a new trike for him, and when we did the equipment he needed was quoted at almost £4000.”
“Henry is such a friendly little boy and having the trike means we can now join friends on days out and trips to the park more easily. He gets a lot of attention when he’s on the trike too. Other children often come up and comment on how cool it is, and he just loves that social interaction and, being a bit of an attention seeker, he enjoys the interest. It’s just lovely for him being able to do something that other little boys his age enjoy – it’s been a gamechanger!”
The Tomcat trike, is specially adapted to suit Henry’s needs, with a swivel seat for him to get on and off easily and it can be adjusted to ‘grow’ with him, so it will last for many years to come.
“Riding the trike doesn’t feel like exercise for him either. It’s more like a hobby for Henry, so even though he gets tired cycling, he’s usually happy to carry on. When he does get too tired to continue, I can use the handle to push him, but he’s still using and moving his legs and therefore physically active.
“Henry’s non-verbal, so he primarily uses an app by pointing to symbols to communicate. The symbol for ‘ride my bike’ gets used a lot these days! We’re so grateful to Children Today for their support, it really has had such a positive impact on Henry’s life – and mine too!”