Seven-year old Olivia suffered brain damage in the womb, and as a result has global development delay resulting in problems with mobility and communication.
Olivia’s mum Nicole explains: “Olivia was diagnosed with global development delay, following genetic testing, before she turned three years old. We weren’t aware of any problems during my pregnancy with Olivia, so it is thought that she suffered brain damage in the womb. It was clear from early on that she wasn’t hitting the usual milestones and she also needed correctional operations as she had dysplasia of the hips.
“Olivia started walking when she was about three and half and her communication is really coming on too. She’s not able to talk yet but she’s a very keen learner and uses Makaton to communicate with us.”
Until receiving a grant for a specialist adapted trike from Children Today Olivia was unable to join her parents, who are keen cyclists, on family rides.
Nicole adds: “We’re a very outdoorsy family – being Dutch, cycling is in my blood! However, Olivia’s physical disabilities made it difficult to get out and about as a family. We often need to use the wheelchair as she gets tired very quickly. The trike has been a great boost to her both physically and mentally. It helps to improve her posture as it offers great physical support and has also given her a confidence boost.
“Olivia is such a vivacious little girl, she loves people and is very sociable. We often meet up with friends, some of whom have children with disabilities and others who don’t, and with the trike Olivia is able to get involved in the activities that all the children enjoy together.
“The trike can also be attached to our bikes, so we can go out on longer journeys together as a family. We haven’t tried it yet, but plan to this summer!”