I miss… blissfully and carelessly playing on my garden swing as a child.
Every kid loves playing in the park and daring to see how high they can reach on the swings. I was no different. The only thing that was different was my garden swing. I had a blue ‘bucket’ style, full support swing much like the one in the picture, (although I never wore the straps – what a rebel!), and I absolutely loved it.
After school, weekends and school holidays I would beg anyone and everyone to push me as high as they could for as long as they would indulge me. I loved the sense of freedom and almost weightlessness, the rush of fresh air, my legs swaying as furiously as they’d allow.
Back then I had only a manual wheelchair which I couldn’t propel myself and so I felt confined, frustrated and idle. I desperately wanted to be able to run around frantically with my friends, to experience that exhilaration and energy.
For as long as I could and when opportune, I loved to ride roller coasters since it was one way for me to feel that same thrill. But, the sad fact is roller coasters are simply not designed for those with any kind of physical disability. Before long it became impractical and too difficult to manually lift me on and off of the rides.
That is why I held on to my beloved blue swing for as long as possible. Thankfully I never grew too much! Although somewhat cocooned in the seat, I never felt restricted, only safe and secure thereby enabling me to swing to crazy heights if so inclined.
For anyone out there who has kids with a disability, I whole heartedly recommend investing in one of these full support swings. They now come in a range of sizes, even accommodating adults. It may seem a simple pleasure but honestly, for someone with limited mobility, the sense of being lifted from the ground and into the air at speed is invaluable.
I’m thankful… that I started blogging and am therefore able to share my knowledge and experiences with you. Unless people tell you of devices such as the full support swing, you’ll never know about them and will never realise the benefit.
Every day there are more and more facilities, devices and items of equipment being developed for those with disabilities. But I know only too well that unless you actively seek them out, you’re unlikely to learn of them as they are not widely promoted. It’s not as if you will see them out in the mainstream or on the shop shelves.
All of my physical aids have been found through word of mouth, searching for something to solve a certain issue or sheer inventiveness. So, if this blog can help at least one person out there, I’ll be happy. After all, until someone told my parents about the full support swing all those years ago, they were none the wiser. I may never have had those hours, days and years of enjoyment.
By the way, I’m now on Twitter! Please follow me: @claimesuk