Or Peretz, 4 years and 10 months old, received his motorized wheelchair this week.
“Or began learning how to operate the motorized wheelchair about a year and a half ago, when he was 3, and none of us thought the experience would be fruitful”, explains Hedva Elharar, an occupational therapist who worked with Or on his motorized mobility.
“There were many difficulties! Or, who never understood the full meaning of motion in space, found it hard at first to grasp the ‘rules of space’ – directions, and the relation between his body and the space in which he was in. Or did not rely on his sight to navigate, and struggled with the idea his needed to utilize his eyesight in order to better control his movement through space”.
Or’s weak muscles and limited hand movement could not guarantee his success in operating the motorized chair. Throughout many months, Or dealt with the challenges with a lot of heart and eventually learned how to control the chair! At the end of the process, he successfully passed an examination by the Ministry of Health and was entitled to a motorized wheelchair.
The wait was long but today, in class, in ALYN’s “Shachar” center, Or was extremely excited to show off his chair to his friends.
Naomi Geffen, occupational therapist and Assistant General Director adds that ALYN is partner is changing the Ministry of Health’s regulations, to enable children under the age of 6 motorized mobility “Or demonstrates the importance of this decision”, says Naomi.
“The motorized wheelchair will give Or more independence and control over his motion in space, familiarity and learning of his closer and farther surroundings – much like any child whom uses his own to two legs. Needless to say, this has improved Or’s quality of life significantly, as well as that of his family”, says Hedva, “We wish Or a safe and pleasant commute.”
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