I get ideas all the time, many of which I don’t have the time to follow through with.  But I don’t want to forget them either.  So, here’s my list of ideas.

Balancing Scooter — August 2013
What if I could merge my putt-putt stander-scooter with this?:
John leans forward in the stander and it goes forward.  Leans to the side and it steers to the side.  It’s so compact.  John would only take up about as much room as a person does.  A definite space saver when in a house.  Wonder how it would do over thresholds or carpet.  Wonder if anyone could make it for me!

Wheelchair Fleet – November 2012
I was surfing through craigslist and saw a lot of power wheelchairs for sale.  Wouldn’t it be neat to collect a fleet of wheelchairs and equip them with soccer guards. (  Of course, I might try to make my own guards… but anyway… John could invite friends and/or family to play games with him and everyone would be on the same playing level.  Plus it would be fun.  I mean, what kid — able-bodied or not — wouldn’t love to race around playing games in a power chair ??  Of course, where would you keep all these wheelchairs?  And how would you transport them?  Details… details…

Changing table – November 2012
Here is my list of what I want in a changing table…
1.  Adjustable height – (a lot of them do this)
2.  Fold up against wall to save space – ( a lot of them do this)
3.  Fold out foot rest – (have not seen this, maybe I have to google more).  I want John to be sitting at my shoulder height.  I put on his underwear/pants.  Then, I pull out a foot rest for him to stand on.  (Probably should be something for him to hold onto).  Then, I can easily pull on pants.
UPDATE:  See Solutions section.  I added a footrest to John’s dresser

Baseball bat – September 2012
Charles wants to devise a way for John to swing a baseball bat from his wheelchair.  I’m thinking a bolt through  a wiffle bat to use as a pivot point would work.  Charles posted the question on and got the above answer, plus others.  This seemed like a very doable idea, so I worked on it.  See the Solutions section for the results.

Free Wheelchair Mission – August 2012
I like what this site is doing.  I wonder if they could use the walker, too.  http://

Game PT – August 2012
Combine the Mousekersize idea with the XBox Kinect idea, and build some games that may be both fun and help in stretches and exercises.  For example, a game that you have to reach up to pop bubbles.  The games can be custom built for the child’s special needs. — update– It would be nice if the game was also a tool for the PT.  It could give out stats, for instance, like how far the child was able to reach, and if there has been improvement.  And, perhaps, the PT could change settings in order to make the game easier/harder.  For example, set how high the bubbles should range in height above the childs head.

Hammer Accelerometer – July 2012
A guy at work who specializes in materials has an idea to put an accelerometer into a medical hammer to see if it can measure the difference between a tight muscle and a non-tight muscle.

Game – July 2012
I think the name should be ‘Now I get it’.  Idea is that it is played kind of like CandyLand – you pick up cards and follow a path until you hit the end of the journey.  Players pick a profile… you can be a ‘regular’ person, or a person with some kind of handicap (autism, muscular dystrophy, etc…)  You pick up a card from the stack that has your profile.  A regular person may get ‘Go to school and learn new vocabulary – move ahead 4’.  A handicap person may get ‘Go to the bathroom, but you can’t reach the soap – move ahead 1’.  But the handicap person may also get a ‘Receive a Make a Wish – move ahead 8’.  Or the regular person may get a ‘Get bumped in the leg by a wheel chair – go back 2’  When players pick their profile – the idea is for a regular person to pick a handicapped profile and a handicap person to pick a regular profile.  I’d have to play with the values, but in general, I’m thinking the regular person would move rather steadily, but the handicap person would have bigger highs and lows.

Measure Gait – June 2012
This isn’t my idea, but I’ve been searching for solutions for a while for making more accurate measurements of muscle weakness.  I think this is really neat.

Stair Cane – May 2012
This idea is for lofstrand crutch (or cane) that stays at the same height relative to a person when they’re going up or down stairs.  I’ve noticed that it can be hard, for example, when going down you put your cane on the bottom step and now it’s too low and you have to bend over.  It would be nice if the support stayed at the same height relative to the body.

Muscle weakness measurement – May 2012
Put a coil around a leg/arm/etc…  Iron in blood flows through to get a current. (magnet?)  Measure this — give an indication on amount of blood flow.  Maybe when muscles are tight less flow ??

Mousekersize PT – April 2012
Mickey Mouse has a show where one of the characters has a problem.  They come up with an exercise to help them solve the problem.  The idea is to get kids to exercise.  Both boys really like this show and (try) to mimic the exercises that they do.  It would be fantastic to have the same show, but they do stretches, or therapy – John could watch it while we do stretches together to make it more fun.

2 thoughts on “Ideas”

  1. Chrishana Lloyd said:

    Hi there,

    I’m Chrishana–went to H.S. with Chuck and we were in band together. I have 3 sons, 1 who has cerebral palsy. He’s non ambulatory and cognitively delayed. Two items I’ve always dreamed about are: a supportive sled that also allows mommy and daddy to pull Myles up the hill when we’re done going down and a beach wheelchair that’s portable and not thousands of dollars. Any thoughts about these items????

    • Hi Chrishana — nice to meet you !

      Sled thoughts:
      1. I saw a sled at Target (maybe last year) that had some potential for kids without good motor skills. It was made for young kids, though, maybe 2 years old or younger. So, John at 6 would definitely have grown out of it. Oh, just found it… And, while looking for that sled, saw a couple others that had back support. Because every kid is different, you’d just have to see if it’d work for you or not.
      2. I googled ‘adaptive sled’ and one of the first things that came up was this… I don’t know that I like the design that much. But, I’m very happy to discover The Kids Project. I was just talking recently about wanting to do the very thing that they apparently do… have volunteers who like to make things, design and build specialty items for special needs people.
      3. What I don’t like about the above design is that it would be a nightmare to pull back up a hill. We went sledding with John a year ago. One of us would sit on a regular sled while the other would hand John over and we’d go down together holding him. The hard part came when you got to the bottom and had to try to stand up with him. Then the awfulness of carrying him back up the hill.
      4. Ok, I know this is a little extreme, but I just had a thought of using my handy, dandy winch. What if you find a way to build a sled that has all the support required (back support, leg support, etc) The winch is at the top of the hill. You let John (or your son) go down the hill (with whatever help/support they need). You unwind the winch so that it reaches the bottom of the hill (either it’s a short hill or a very long rope on the winch !!!) You clip it to the sled, then voila! have it pull the sled back up the hill !!

      Beach wheelchair thoughts:
      1. I’ve definitely thought about this a lot, but haven’t come up with anything that falls in the criteria you describe. Beach, portable, cheap… hard to meet all three. The best we’ve done is to rent a beach wheelchair and put a carseat in it so John would fit. Now, if you’re also talking about a power beach chair, then you’re really making it hard. They exist, but as you say, are expensive! We’ve looked at trying to put beach wheels on a regular power wheelchair. But the wheels alone are pretty expensive — plus we think there might be some welding involved and neither Charles or I know what we’re doing. Oh, and now it’s definitely not portable!
      2. You could also try to build a chair out of pvc pipe and put on beach wheels. That’s definitely doable, but the wheels are still expensive — and they’re not terribly portable.

      Nice hearing from you. By the way, Charles says you know Tyler, too. Check out the wheelchair that Tyler built for John. If you have any tips/ideas of your own let me know 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s