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Fia's Driving Journey

24 February 2022

8 year old Fia has a degenerative condition, called Alexander Disease, which affects all aspects of her life but she is determined to be as independent as possible. 


Fia is cognitively aware and was able to demonstrate to her teachers that she is very capable.  She started off her ‘driving’ journey by using one of our bespoke platform bases with her manual wheelchair positioned on it.  Fia learnt to use a joystick to control the platform and attended a ‘driving group’ at Chailey Heritage led by the Occupational Therapy team. As she progressed, it was obvious she would become an independent driver but she had to prove it to wheelchair services Fia soon moved on to using an assessment chair to enable her to demonstrate her skills.  After about a year and a half, Fia was finally given her own power chair and uses it confidently around school and whilst out with her family. 


Fia would never have got her own power chair without using the platform for practice and developing confidence thus allowing her to pass her driving testThe power chair has given Fia the freedom and independence that she was so desperate for.”  


Fia used to be able to walk to her Grandads house a few doors down from us, bang on his door and shout 'I need sweets Grandad'!!  Having a power chair means she can do this again on her own.  When we go to our local park with friends, Fia can join in with games of chase independently and just be a child. 


Lian, Fia’s mum 


Fia is now able to take herself to where she wants to go, within her safe environment, to find what she wants to play with. Research has shown that the complex interplay between the domains of child development mean that self-initiated movement has one of the most powerful effects on their progress.  The impact on Fia’s self-esteem and emotional wellbeing are immense. 


Amy Perkins, Fia’s teacher 

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