Wheelchair and Mobility Clinic

The PT & OT Department of Children’s of Alabama coordinates with Wheelchair and Mobility Clinic to assist families with selecting and obtaining equipment for children and adolescents. The clinic team is highly experienced in the area of pediatric seating and positioning technologies. We strive to keep up-to-date on the latest advances in products that promote increased functional mobility, independence and ease of the burden of care for caregivers.

Reasons for Referral:
Need for positioning or mobility equipment due to:

  • Weakness or decreased lung function impairing mobility or ability to walk
  • An injury or illness which will likely affect mobility or ability to walk
  • Extensive medical, physical, cognitive, and/or nutritional needs

Problems with present equipment such as:

  • Wheelchair/equipment no longer fits appropriately
  • Modification of wheelchair/equipment is needed to improve fit or functional use
  • Problems with discomfort, redness, and/or skin breakdown when using equipment
  • Complaints of discomfort when using equipment
  • Wheelchair/equipment does not meet the needs of the child

Importance of Evaluation by a Team:

  • Different specialist working together as a team assures that the child’s/adolescent’s functional status and needs are evaluated thoroughly and that recommendations are comprehensive for addressing the child’s and family’s needs and concerns

Children and Adolescents Seen in Clinic:

  • Under 21 and non-Medicare recipients
  • Children/Adolescents with but not limited to the following diagnoses:
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Closed Head Injuries
    • Traverse Myelitis
    • Spina Bifida
    • Spinal Cord Injuries
    • Muscular Dystrophy

What We Do:

  • Consider each child’s/adolescent’s specific needs for improving access to home, school, and the community and supporting participation in recreation and other community activities
  • Conduct and extensive evaluation of posture, joint mobility, functional use of arms and legs, cognitive status, skin integrity, etc.
  • Consider environments and functional goals prior to recommendation of specific wheelchair/equipment
  • Communicate with other care providers and assist in arranging other services needed
  • Recommend adaptive equipment and/or assistive technology to decrease burden of care, increase independence, promote increased function and help maintain posture alignment

Our Team:

Our team includes a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Certified Rehab Technology Specialist. A Speech Therapist and a Physiatrist are available for consultation to address further concerns associated with communication devices, environmental access and medical issues. Our team works together to consider specific seating and other adaptive equipment that will meet each child’s/adolescent’s specific needs.

Technology Offered:

  • Seating Simulator to simulate recommended seating alignment/orientation
  • X-Sensor pressure mapping technology to assess effectiveness of present wheelchair cushion as related to the child’s position and orientation in the wheelchair. This is extremely beneficial with children who are presently having pressure issues (redness or skin breakdown)
  • Ability to trial certain custom DEMO wheelchairs or other positioning/mobility devices to evaluate potential benefit of recommended equipment

Scheduling/Planning for an Appointment

  • First you will need a referral (prescription) from your MD for “PT & OT Wheelchair and Mobility Evaluation.” It may be faxed to 205-638-6067
  • If you have Medicaid, the prescription needs to come from your PMP and you need to make sure your present EPSDT screening is up to date
  • Call our secretary at 205-638-9645 to request an information packet and questionnaire
  • Once we receive the information you provide about your child, we will call and schedule an appointment with you
  • For some cases we will attempt to schedule an appointment immediately (examples: your child is having skin/pressure problems, the chair is unsafe or the child is not fitting in the wheelchair)
  • Bring the equipment currently being used and that was most recently obtained (including wheelchair, splints, braces and assistive devices)
  • Pictures or videotapes of your child using the equipment may be helpful
  • Letters or calls from other therapist are welcome

What to Expect

  • A thorough and individualized assessment of your child’s/adolescent’s and family’s needs
  • Professional and knowledgeable team members who will seed to inform you of all available options and rationale for recommended equipment
  • Follow-up fittings when desired or deemed necessary by the team
  • All filing and insurance to be handled by the vendor
  • Timely processing of Letters of Medical Necessity for insurance generated by the team
  • Education regarding the recommended equipment and hands-on instruction at time of delivery
  • An average of 3-4 months for new seating components and/or wheelchair
  • Availability of team members for follow-up if you have further questions or concerns
  • An openness and willingness to collaborate with the other therapist who work with your child/adolescent in other settings such as schools or outpatient therapy centers
  • Recommendations for other equipment/services deemed beneficial by our team
  • Information regarding home medication, vehicle accessibility, transportation safety and alternative positioning