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, just 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 is now using some words but mainly communicates with Makaton sign language, sounds and pointing at things.”
In 2017, Children Today helped provide an adapted trike for Olivia to enable her to join her parents, who are keen cyclists, on family rides.
“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 her adapted buggy 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 was also diagnosed with epilepsy in 2018 and has recently had a diagnosis of ADHD as well.
In early 2021 it was clear that Olivia, who is now 10, had outgrown her original trike and knowing the benefits she’d experienced with her first trike the family were keen to get Olivia new one. Once again we were able to help!
“This new trike has been fantastic for Olivia. She has so much energy and she can be quite erratic and flap a lot, but the trike provides focus and the more she can let off steam the better!
“On her old trike she was pedalling with her knees inwards, but this trike has lower leg support, which helps keep her legs straightforward, so it’s much better for her posture.
“With Olivia having epilepsy it’s so reassuring to know she’s safe and secure on the trike, as she can have a seizure at any time. In fact, she has had a seizure on the trike once before. These days we’re managing the epilepsy much better, but she still has a seizure about every ten days, so she can’t be left unattended at any time.
“Olivia has always had a love of the outdoors and that has only grown as she gets older, but as she can’t walk far we usually have to take her adapted buggy out with us. It’s nice to have a different, more fun, option with the trike.
“It also opens up social opportunities, as we often bump into friends and class mates on our favourite routes on the Greenway cycle path, which is great for Olivia as she’s such a vivacious little girl – she loves people and is very sociable!”