Samantha Govitz describes her three-and-a-half-year-old sons, Remi and Everett, as polar opposites. Remi and Everett have cerebral palsy. Because of this, they’re not able to sit, stand or walk unsupported.
“Everett is the quiet, observant, take it all in kind of guy,” said Samantha. “While Remi is a social butterfly and is kind of mischievous. He always wants to take off on his own.”
They love going for walks in their neighborhood, enjoying the community splash pad with their wheelchairs or gait trainers and riding their Freedom Concepts adaptive tricycle.
“Of course, these activities look a little different than when other kids do them since Remi and Everett can’t move as quickly with the equipment they have,” said Samantha. “I think they’re too young to really notice right now, and part of that is because we don’t try to limit them from interacting in all the things that any other child would.”
Samantha said that when Remi and Everett ride their DCP Mini, it’s an opportunity to watch them move in a way that’s expected of their age.
“Just watching them having fun and feeling that independence is awesome,” said Samantha.
“They’re in lots of therapies and go to a school that allows them to be with kids who are similar to them,” said Samantha.
Samantha is a pediatric physical therapist and has known about Freedom Concepts for years through her work. At her old workplace, they often ordered Freedom Concepts trikes for their clients with cerebral palsy.
Because her husband is in the military, Samantha’s family was able to receive the adaptive trike through military insurance.
Samantha recognizes how fortunate her family was to be covered by her husband’s military insurance but thinks Freedom Concepts working with other funding sources is admirable.
“Through my job, I’ve been exposed to and know people who have gotten their kids, patients and students Freedom Concepts bikes and they’ve all gone through other organizations to get funding,” said Samantha.
Once they received the tricycle, Remi and Everett took turns riding it.
“At the time we were fine with one bike and thought it would be a good tool to teach them how to take turns,” said Samantha. “It turned out that they both loved it, and it brought on some tantrums. They had a good reason to be upset.”
They are currently in the process of getting a second trike so the boys can ride at the same time.
Samantha enjoys the strengthening benefits that Remi and Everett get from the trike and likes to use it as a strengthening activity for kids with cerebral palsy.
“The high-back seating allows the boys to practice trunk control but still have enough support where they’re not tipping over,” said Samantha. “The bike really challenges them to push the pedals with their legs, you can see their legs getting stronger to keep the pedals moving.”
She also likes that the foot straps help keep Remi and Everett’s feet in place while they’re riding the trike.
“I hear from so many parents of kids that struggle with keeping their feet on the pedals,” said Samantha. “It’s something you take for granted and don’t realize how difficult it is.”
The therapeutic benefits that Everett and Remi get from the trike aren’t just strengthening benefits.
“I like the input they get to their eyes and balance systems because they’re looking around while they’re on the trike,” said Samantha.
Samantha also appreciates the look of the trike. Remi and Everett were riding the trike down the sidewalk when a group of kids and their parents passed by and were intrigued by it.
“The dad said ‘Wow, that’s an awesome bike!’ and the kids looked at it in amazement at how cool it is,” said Samantha. “The bike has a ‘typical’ look to it by being colorful, and even though it looks adaptive, it doesn’t have that obvious ‘medical’ look to it.”
As a physical therapist and a mom, Samantha strongly recommends Freedom Concepts’ tricycles to families who are thinking of purchasing an adaptive trike.
“There are all the physical benefits I’ve talked about, but as a mom, you can’t replace the opportunity of watching your kid do something you were told they would maybe never do and just be excited to do something alongside other kids,” said Samantha.
Click here to learn more about Freedom Concepts adaptive trikes.