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Can anyone help? I have questions

(16 Posts)
LollipopViolet Thu 31-Jul-08 12:56:52

OK, not my child (not got any and not ready for them) but my friend.

I made friends with a girl on my transport to college (I'm visually impaired myself, she was going to the special school she attended) and we've been socialising etc for a while. All is hunky dory but I still feel really ignorant about CP (which is what she has). I do ask her when I've got questions, and she's happy to answer, but what I could really do with is basically a sort of guide to CP, what it is, what it affects etc, to stop me asking really simple questions. There are also a few more things I could use some advice on.

1. Buses, getting on and off them. We've done this once and it was fine getting on but getting off we struggled and nearly fell off the ramp (my friend is a wheelchair user). Is there a trick to doing this? It seems to be the hinge of the ramp that causes problems.

2. Places to go round Staffordshire, we've done Alton Towers and the centre of Stoke-on-Trent, more ideas would be good.

3. Technique for pushing a wheelchair. HOW do you do it up and down hills and kerbs?? I always hate going down hills...scary stuff if you're not used to it!

4. Activities you'd recommend/advise to avoid.

5. Swimming pools in Stoke-on-Trent with those big wide stairs rather than a ladder. Are there any? We really want to swim regularly but this is the biggest hurdle we've come across.

Please help, we're really close friends and if you guys can help me find answers to these questions it'd make our friendship even stronger, I think.

PS: Has anyone's DC gone to uni and had to have a DSA assessment, I've got mine soon and was wondering what to expect.

Mamazon Thu 31-Jul-08 13:00:33

I am not all that clued up on Cp but you will be pleased to know that there are some mums here who are like a CP bible!

i am certain that they will be along soon to give a glimpse at their wealth of wisdom.
just didn't want you to go unanswered.
and justto add that i thik it is excellent that you care so much about your friend to ask how you can be a better help to her.

lourobert Thu 31-Jul-08 13:20:40

I dont know anything about CP but couldnt not menion what a fab friend you appear too be. SOmeone will be along with more info about CP for sure.

twocutedarlings Thu 31-Jul-08 14:02:55

what a fab friend you are. I also dont have any knowledge on CP but like the others have said there are lots of people here that do, they will be around at some point so keep checking back.


Dilberta Thu 31-Jul-08 15:18:42

cerebral palsy is a motor disorder so affects movement and muscle control. Can range from a slight limp to total quadraplegia. Its caused by brain damage to the motor parts of the brain.
Most people with CP have other brain damaged related problems too like epilepsy or visual/aural impairment, cognitive difficulties.

2shoes Thu 31-Jul-08 17:35:04

my dd who is 12 has cp.
how old is your freind and how is she affected, and what kidn of wheelchair has she got?

2shoes Thu 31-Jul-08 17:35:23

(ooops dd is 13)

LollipopViolet Thu 31-Jul-08 17:53:22

My friend is 16, and her usual chair (or "chariot" as she refers to it) is one by a company called Venus. However, it's being repaired so she's got an Invacare Action 3 for a couple of weeks, it's heavier than the Venus...and we're going to Alton Towers tomorrow! Thanks for everyone's advice and kind words, I appreciate them

LollipopViolet Thu 31-Jul-08 17:54:15

Oh, forgot to add, she has spastic diplegia (think thats how you spell it anyway!)

Nat1H Thu 31-Jul-08 21:03:46

I find going down hills easier if I tip the wheelchair back and use the anti-tippers for support (probably really bad for the wheelchair). But, my son is only 5 - don't know how doing this would be with a bigger/heavier person and heavier chair. Kerbs are a nightmare as well - try to find a dropped kerb, they always feel safer to me!

2shoes Thu 31-Jul-08 21:30:10

tbh the bigger the wheelchair the harder it gets. I don't think there is a easy answer or knack, It is just bloody hard work.
I have never taken dd on a bus so can't answer about buses.
with swimming pools, my best advice would be to ring a local disabled organisation and ask them to recomend a pool. or post in cht/other and ask there as you might get a bigger response.
the best activity I would think is bowling, always good for a laugh and if you use the thing that kids use(no idea what it is called) a wheelchair user can play.
but don't forget normal stuff like shopping and doing lunch and just hanging out.
I don't know much about spastic diplegia as dd has athetoid cp, but I should imagine it is all similar.
it affects everything I was amazed to realise how much. so you will need to ask lots of questions as each person can be affected in a different way.
tbh I would suggest just asking when you are stuck, you can then talk about any problems you might have with your sight and then help each other.
Oh I so hope dd meets a nice person like you

2shoes Thu 31-Jul-08 21:31:00

(hopefully Riven will return to mn as she is an expert on the wheelchair and bisses stuff)

MetalMummy Thu 31-Jul-08 21:53:50

Hi LollipopViolet I can't answer all your questions but I can try a couple of them.

1. DH is a bus driver for D&G, he isn't in at the moment but I'll ask him later if there is a knack to getting on and off.

2.Drayton Manor is a fab place to visit, it's cheaper than Alton Towers, not as hilly or set in such extensive grounds and the penguins and monkeys are so cute
The Monkey Forest in Trentham is nice but it is very hilly.
Trentham Gardens is a nice place to visit if you want a nice relaxing day out

3. I agree with Nat1H about going down (steep) hills. My sister is 16 and quite heavy so it is easier to tip the wheelchair back.

4. not sure

5. I haven't been for years but Fenton Manor pool had the wide steps in the shallow end of the large pool. If I remember right there are about 8 steps going down but they aren't steep.
Shelton Pool is quite, I don't know about the steps there but it does have specialist facilities for disabled guests. I've attempted a link, sorry if it doesn't work

I hope this helps. I'll try to think of other places to visit, I don't think you realize how many there are when you actually live there, lol.

MetalMummy Thu 31-Jul-08 22:17:10

Have a wonderful time at Alton Towers!! grin

When you get there you will need to go to guest services to get your special ride access wristbands. They gave us 1 for my sister and 4 for friends to go on the rides with her. Even though she was in a wheelchair she did still have to take proof that she has a disability. She took her DLA record book.
Most visitors get there and just head straight for the nearest rides, we've always found it best to get straight on the cable cars and go to the far side of the park and work our way back to the entrance. That way you don't have huge queues for the first few rides and you do the water rides last so you aren't in soaking wet clothes all day. Watch out for Ripsaw though on nice days they turn the water jets up and they get you straight in the face.

2shoes Thu 31-Jul-08 22:18:20

2I'm assuming she is pushing her friend in a manual wheelchair? Complete bugger going down hill as the 'pusher' has to pull back otherwise you get a white knuckle ride. My manual chair has brakes on the handles so dh can control me down a hill. But I generally use a powerchair.
Kerbs, tip chair back on big wheels (while passenger flails about), push forwards until small font wheels on kerb then lift and push to get back wheels on or find a dropped kerb.
Buses - take the manual chair off backwards.
Swimming pools - all of them should be accessible and have a policy of how to get a wheelchair user into a pool"

LollipopViolet Fri 01-Aug-08 07:04:20

Thanks guys I work at Alton Towers, so we've got free tickets and we've been before so we're familiar with how to get the bands etc. Thanks though And thanks for all the other advice too, it's nice to see such a big response.

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