Boy with cerebral palsy being supported to stand by a therapist. Child and adult are smiling at each other.

Shree wants to walk but he can’t support his own weight.

There’s a magic piece of equipment that might be about to change his life.

It’s called a Body Weight Support Treadmill. Here’s how it works:
 Body weight supported treadmill (BWSTT) training is a task-specific method of retraining or, in young children, developing walking skills. The training uses a suspended harness over a moving treadmill so that the child needn’t bear his own weight while he is concentrating on learning to walk.

Little boy in a harness walks on a treadmill, therapist watches from the sideIt’s Like Magic!

BWSTT works for kids with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other Delays ~ it also works with adults who have had a stroke or a fall which impairs their ability to walk.

This means the child can practice for longer periods while freeing the
 therapist (who would otherwise be supporting that weight herself) to give visual, tactile and verbal encouragement and guidance.

BWSTT also makes it possible for the child to experience feedback provided by both the therapist and the surface to try out different movements and see for himself which ones work better. For example, a child may take smaller steps and actually experience the sensation of a true fall, but without getting hurt. He may then realise it makes more sense to increase his step length and reap the benefits of a more effective stride.

By altering the treadmill’s speed and incline, the therapist can create greater demand for and use of specific muscles, thereby encouraging the child’s healthy overall development.

Delays in walking affect cognitive development too

When children are delayed in their motor milestones, all their other milestones will be affected too. Kids NEED to move to learn effectively. They need to be able to run, jump, hop skip and climb; to explore their world and to understand how their bodies function.

Tiny child in large wheelchair

If they can’t walk, their development will suffer. So it’s worth all our efforts to help children walk if they possibly can. Not only will it improve their quality of life and help them be more independent but it will also improve their mental and emotional growth too.

Aarti’s Dream

Aarti Nair is our Director for Rehabilitation Services. She has traveled widely and has seen for herself the enormous progress children can make when they get the right support. Her dream was to have a Body Weight Support Treadmill in each of our three centres which need them the most.

They sell for 4.5 lakhs each. The Life Insurance Corporation of India just bought us our first one!

Now we need two more.

9 Lakhs = Best Aarti Ever (An Aarti is a Prayer)

With three such units in place, we will be able to change the lives of hundreds of children every year.

This kind of therapy is offered for Rs 1000 per 30 minute session in for-profit centres. We are offering it for free to any child who needs it. Help Shree and his friends learn to walk. Donate now and make Aarti’s dream come true.

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