Big Sister got a build-a-bear for her birthday. We did the whole experience. I took her to the workshop where she chose her bear and it’s accessories then we went for lunch.
It was a special treat day because we left Quinns and Dad at home. While choosing the accessories Big sister spotted a wheelchair for build-a-bears and set her heart on it. Unfortunately it was outwith the budget for that day.
The wheelchair costs more than the initial bear (before you add in all the extra stuff!) She asks ‘Why does it cost so much?’ A very good question and one that I often ask myself in relation to equipment we need for Quinns. Put a special needs label on something and the price rises as illustrated by Alex from The Long Chain in her blog, The cost of disability
Hopefully absolutely essential equipment is available from the NHS or local authorities but I know there’s variation across the country. We’ve been lucky to have a lot funded for us and we can also afford some ‘extras’ like the Upsee and the Splashy but some aren’t so fortunate.
You could argue that the build-a-bear doesn’t ‘need’ the wheelchair but I think it’s great that Big Sister wants it to be like her brother. It all helps to ‘normalise’ wheelchair use so that’s got to be a good thing. This BBC news article recently described the benefits of toy wheelchairs.
Anyway in the end I agreed to match fund. She saved half from her pocket money then I gave her the rest. Otherwise she may have been fundraising for one!
The charity Scope are currently running a campaign about the extra costs faced by disabled people and families with disabled children. You can find out more from their website.