Engaging Children with Spina Bifida for Increased Mobility
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – Linda Thunn
CRS partners with SBAAZ to encourage best mobility in young patients
SCOOOT provides an early experience of independence for kids with mobility challenges. It frees them to explore their home, play, chase and race friends and siblings without any help. Expert clinicians, designers and engineers worked hard to create a device that will help kids discover new skills as well as new pals. The potential for physical and cognitive development was a key factor in every element of the design.
Spina Bifida Association of Arizona Inc. (SBAAZ), an organization committed to enhancing the lives of those affected by spina bifida in Arizona, was awarded a grant from the PayPal Gives Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The grant was recommended by PayPal’s employee-volunteer led Chandler, AZ GIVE Team.
The SCOOOT program idea was presented to the SBAAZ by CRS’s Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic Lead Physician Pamela S. Murphy, MD, FAAP. The program was coordinated by Sharri Runnels, executive director of the SBAAZ, along with SBAAZ board member Linda Thunn, PT, DPT who is also the Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic physical therapist at CRS.
The CRS Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic occurs every Friday, and they see approximately seven patients for all day clinic, visiting up to 13 different providers, having blood work drawn, and if necessary they will get casted for their orthotics and/or have x-rays. SBAAZ provides lunch and signs people up for their medical alert bracelets. Free Arts of AZ is there for the kids to create projects at lunch time.
The SCOOOT program involves readiness assessments, equipment placement, activities and progress checks that will empower ‘toddlers’ to keep pace with their siblings and peers as they establish a sense of mastery over their world. The mobility device, resembling a toy more than a piece of medical equipment, allows children to reach items from the floor, ambulate, and enter/exit the seat safely at will.
“CRS is a great partnership for SBAAZ as we are able to share resources with clients and assess needs over lunch with families that are served by the fantastic care team brought together by District Medical Group,” stated Runnels, “SBAAZ is very grateful for the relationship with DMG and wanted to share the first SCOOOT placement with their staff as they pour so much into the kiddos!”
Spina bifida (Myelomeningocele) is a birth defect in which the spinal canal and the backbone don’t close before the baby is born. This type of birth defect is also called a neural tube defect.
The SCOOOT Earliest Mobility Program kicked off was on Friday, November 10, 2017 with placements being made at the CRS Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic.