Children in Strollers or Wheelchairs
When you push your child in their stroller or wheelchair, they may not be aware of where they are going and what they are passing along the way.
Explain What is Happening
- Let your child know before you move them into the stroller or wheelchair. You can use a touch cue, such as lifting their arms, to let them know you are going to pick them up. Using a consistent way to let your child know it is time to move will help them anticipate what is going to happen.
- As you move your child into the stroller or wheelchair, involve them in the process. Your child can reach out and touch the seat before you sit them down. Work with you using hand-under-hand techniques to fasten the seatbelt, and touch the wheel of the wheelchair to let you know they are ready to be pushed.
- As the two of you move from place to place, stop to see, touch, and hear landmarks that will help your child recognize objects in the environment, and through them. As you push your child from the bedroom to the kitchen for breakfast, stop at the doorway to rooms you pass. When you go out to the car together, stop on the front porch to touch and listen to the wind chimes.
- As your child becomes more familiar with a route, involve them in directing where you push the stroller or wheelchair. When you stop in the living room by the shelf with toys, wait to point to or verbalize about the direction of the kitchen. Try to build in opportunities to have some responsibility for directing where your child is taken, rather than passively going along.
For more information, see Foundations of Education, Volume II, A. Koenig & C. Holbrook (Eds.)