Alf is a 3-year-old boy diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP), dyskinetic dystonia, GMFCS level V, with no ability to sit, stand or walk independently.
While in supported standing with weight-bearing, his muscle tone is positively stimulated – he gets a real “toneboost” - which helps him keep his body up against gravity. Otherwise, he is predominantly hypotonic. When he moves, his dyskinetic pattern is especially noticeable through involuntary muscle contractions. He has some restricted joint mobility in the ankles, knees and shoulders.
The goal of introducing a walking aid was to get the possibility of active standing with weight-bearing. In addition, it was to stimulate walking and reduce cross patterns.
Alf does not have verbal language and communicates, for example, by stomping his foot, which means “yes”. In his ordinary standing device, where he is fixated and cannot move his feet, he becomes frustrated and unhappy. They have also tried other aids for walking, but it has been challenging to move forward because of his strong cross pattern.
When he was 2 years old, the parents, in collaboration with the physiotherapist, chose to test the NF-Walker 2, which has proven to be optimal for Alf. He gets full weight-bearing, and his legs are adjusted so that the cross pattern does not prevent him from moving forward. At the same time, he has full opportunity to communicate by foot stomping. Alf has now used the NF-Walker 2 for 1 year, one hour at a time, 1-2 times a day.
Alf now manages to walk and navigate the NF-Walker 2 independently. The hope has been to reduce the cross pattern so that he can participate in race-running, without his feet coming under the RaceRunner undercarriage. He still has light crossing of his legs, but compared to before he started up with the NF-Walker 2, they see an improvement.
Alf is continuously monitored by X-rays of his hips at the CPOP (cerebral palsy follow-up program) and they look great now. Alf has gained better control over his head and upper body, and he is no longer in need of head support and four-point chest support in the NF-Walker 2. Most importantly, Alf’s ability to communicate by stomping his foot in the NF-Walker 2, increases his independency and not least the sense of achievement.
When he is in weight-bearing position, he gets a real «tone-boost»
which helps him keep his body up against gravity. Otherwise, he is
– ALF´S MUM