Wheelchair users at school

@maximax8 (27954)
United Kingdom
December 10, 2009 3:05am CST
My son is currently two and a half years old. He will be going to nursery school in September 2010 and to primary school in September 2011. He can't walk because he has spina bifida. I haven't ever seen any wheelchair users at school. I wonder if he will want to crawl around or he will be happy to ride around in a wheelchair. I can't imagine what happens when the other children are doing Physical Education. I think seeing the other children run around at playtime he will be jealous. What do you think? Have you ever seen a wheelchair user at a school?
8 responses
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
11 Dec 09
All three of the public schools that I went to from kindergarten through 12th grade had students that were in wheelchairs. We really didn't see them as being any different than the rest of the students in the school. When it came time for physical education, there were times that were blocked off for the special education students to have their own physical education time. It wasn't that these children were segregated from the rest of the school, because all of them were streamlined as much as possible, but it is impossible to streamline for physical education. To the best of my understanding, physical education for the children that had limited mobility was based around what they were able to do. Even the playground had some equipment that was set up with the children with limited mobility in mind. Rest easy because I'm sure that your son will be fine.
@poingly (606)
• United States
11 Dec 09
I can't remember treating my classmate (back in the day) in a wheelchair any differently than any others. Though I think the rest of us were a little jealous that he got to use the elevator. :)
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
10 Dec 09
As I was a primary school teacher for 22 years I occasionally saw wheelchair users at school. It depened on the level of their physicasl disability as to how well they could cope in a "normal" school. Many cope extremely well and can do anything that any other child can do. With PE, I would have another child throw a ball back and forth to a wheelchair user, or perhaps play at throwing goals. Im not experienced with a child as young as yours, so I cant say what activitioes the teachers will have for your son. I dont whether he will want to crawl around by school age, as he will probably be used to what his limitations are. Does your son do swimming?We have some outstanding swimmers with spina bifida.
@Nameless_ (1181)
• Australia
10 Dec 09
Hiya maximax8, Don't worry, the school should have an anti-bullying system that prevents anyone from bullying him. When I was in primary school, we had a student that was on wheelchairs, and it was fun. Everyone loved to talk to him, and sport was the best, because in basketball, he would hug the ball while someone pushed him from behind and we would win. Don't worry, because if you do, and don't let your child go to school, then he will never learn how to fit into society. Cheers, nameless_
• United States
10 Dec 09
When I was in school, there were PLENTY of wheelchair users. I was in cosmetology that worked closely alongside BEST BUDDIES [for special needs children] We would go outside and do activities, put on fashion shows in which they were the stars, we would walk them to class everyday. They were amazing people and some of the brightest kids I knew. They seemed to be the popular kids in school and NO ONE DARED to pick on them or anything like that, or they would have an army after them. There can be some harsh children, but there should not be a problem. Most kids are fascinated with wheelchairs and want to know more. They will ask a lot of questions and want to be his friend.
• United States
10 Dec 09
Hi maximax8, I think your son have the wheel chair is the best. If he wants to get down on the floor during story time and such with the other children he will let people know. When my son was in elementary school there were 2 boys, twins that had cerebral palsy .These boys were always in their wheel chairs. 2 of the brightest boys I might add. During gym class they were active like the other children they just did things like basketball and such from their chairs. They even played duck duck goose. Now if the activity for gym that day was something the boys just could not physically do, the staff was already aware and had the boys ready to help them do something whether it was reading to the younger children or just hanging out while a teacher graded papers. I know they helped me sell lunch tickets a couple times. Their mom volunteered a few hours a week at the school at least one day a week. She got to know the staff and the rest of us PTA moms that she knew her boys were in great hands. I understand your concerns and they are very legit. Volunteer get to know the staff and other volunteers You will see that they are all there to make every transition in your sons life an easy one. Good luck enjoy watching that baby grow.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
10 Dec 09
My son is in a wheelchair. They did both with him in school. They spent some time in the wheelchair and other times they did things on the floor and let him crawl around. He was not in a wheelchair until Kindergarten, but I would assume they will do the same.
@marguicha (92071)
• Chile
10 Dec 09
Hi Maxine, I think that crawling around is not a good idea after nursery school. He might have problems with the other children. But maybe a wheelchair will be the envy of other children too. Leo should be learning to make use of the helps that exist to move in the world with ease. I remember a very long time ago, when I went to school, I was unrthinkable that they would let any lefthanded write or eat with their left hand. So my father went every beginning of the school year to say that HIS daughter for lefthanded and should not be bothered because of that. I must add that my father was a doctor and very atractiveso the teachers accepted what he said. IT would also be a good idea to have Leo at other activity while the other children are in gym. The library could be one place. But if he has an inteligent gym teacher, he might help Leo with developing stronger muscles in his arms. A hug for all of you!