Apr 23, 2016

Mom invents parent-assisted Upsee harness that enables children with disabilities to walk

Posted by in category: education

We’ve been saying for ages that parents are among the best problem-solvers in the world, and the story behind Upsee confirms it. When Debby Elnatan’s second son Rotem was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, an umbrella term for a group of neuromuscular movement disorders that develop before birth or early in childhood, she decided that the physical therapists’ recommendations for Rotem to remain seated for most of the day weren’t going to work for her son. She wanted her little boy to move and walk and experience the world from a different viewpoint. The rub: he needed Debby’s help… a lot of it. So she took the matter into her own hands and crafted a device that would allow him to move with her, safely encouraging independence and helping to develop his muscles. Upsee is the result of years of tinkering with Debby’s original harness design to make it more comfortable, user-friendly, and ultimately more beneficial for the children using it. The current version includes different harness colors, an adjustable hip belt for the adult, and double sandals that allow the parent to help guide their child’s feet, effectively teaching them the movements of walking. Debby estimates that the Upsee has been sold in 100 countries: think about all those kiddos who are getting the thrill of walking for the first time!

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