What is a TAOS Walker?
The TAOS is an acronym for:
Theraputic Ambulatory Orthotic System.
We are excited to be able to provide the TAOS as there are children who have different needs and every walker or device is not always appropriate for every child, parent and physical therapist. We feel the TAOS is meeting these needs of all involved.
The TAOS has two basic parts, a bracing system and the 4-wheeled base. The bracing system provides side to side and front to back support to the child’s trunk and pelvis.
Leg extensions which include, hip, knee and ankle joints, maintain proper alignment while allowing normal walking motion avoiding lower extremity scissoring.
The bracing system can be used independently from the base as a therapeutic tool with assistance to promote weight shift needed for normal gait.
The base has a sit-to-stand modification not seen on other walker that has several benefits. After the bracing system is put onto the child, they then can be seated and strapped for safety then, mechanically lifted to a standing position. This is great for the larger, taller children as their parents, therapists or caregivers do not have to lift them.
The base also has reciprocating cables that assist stride length and alignment which assures a proper walking pattern. The TAOS comes in three different sizes, small, medium and large, the larger being able to accommodate 120 pounds maximum.
Benefits of the TAOS Walker
With regular use we have seen improvements in children’s cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal and bowel/bladder function. It has been well documented that regular walking for exercise benefits these systems and the TAOS encourages this to happen for children who might otherwise be confined to a wheelchair.
The TAOS also encourages biomechanically correct alignment of the trunk and lower extremities through it’s bracing system, while managing and assisting a proper walking pattern.
While the sit to stand modification makes it easier for children to be put in and taken out of the TAOS, it also allows children to rest if they become fatigued from walking or standing for periods of time.
Because the base comes in three sizes, small, medium and large, it provides improved stability for safe walking especially for the taller and/or larger children with erratic gait patterns.
The front axle is high enough off the ground so children can kick a ball under it while playing with their peers or family.
Locking rear-wheel brakes improves safety and peace of mind for parents and care givers.
Of course, because their hands are free, children can participate in school/class activities and are also more self expressive, improving self esteem and social competence.
Children with conditions like Cerebral Palsy that render them unable to walk independently are possible candidates. We, at Great Strides provide trials for children to ensure that the TAOS would be appropriate. The one requirement is that the child can produce voluntary leg movements simulating a walking pattern. They do not have to have a proficient walking pattern, they just must have the ability to initiate it.
If you would like more information, please go to our Contact Page, we will reply to you as soon as we can.
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