Physical Therapist Avanthi Rao, PT
My name is Avanthi Rao and I have been a physical therapist for twenty years, and have specialized in pediatric PT for the last ten years. My typical patients are babies through sixth graders who have cerebral palsy, some type of genetic defect, or muscle delay. I believe I was one of the first Up n’ Go users and I have been using it in therapy for about three years.
Not everyone needs the Up n’ Go. If a simple K walker can be used, then the Up n’ Go is not needed. If a baby cannot walk with a K walker, I will recommend putting them into an Up n’ Go as soon as eighteen months. During therapy, I use the Up n’ Go for standing, teaching sit to stand, taking steps, and other pre-walking skills. For some children, the skills take a while. First they bounce, then they begin moving and walking. Getting them into the Up n’ Go early gives them a better chance at independence.
Parents love the Up n’ Go because it is small, neat, not clunky, and can be used as a stander while a parent is doing something in the same room. Children can (and should) use the Up n’ Go daily for exercise and hands-free activities. Children feel safe in the Up n’ Go, and they can practice the natural feel of walking because the device mimics the weight shifting of real walking. Children love the Up n’ Go because they can participate in gym at school, walk with other children with confidence, and use the device to interact in a normal way with everyone around them.
Sometimes I get a patient through the school system who used another type of gait trainer. I usually switch them over to the Up n’ Go because I find that most patients cannot walk with the other gait trainers. The Up n’ Go puts them in the right position for walking, and they can use it for long sessions, and they feel safer.
Avanthi Rao, PT
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