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Why doesn't the paddle move the legs for my child?
The TAOS is primarily a piece of exercise equipment. The philosophy of the design was to aid the child with alignment and positioning so that they can build proper gait muscles and coordination used in normal gait. It is up to the child to initiate the movement so that they gain the benefit. We do not wish to move them like a robot.

The paddle was designed to allow one leg to move forward at a time. When adjusted properly the child will need to bear weight on one leg to create slack in the rear cords so that the other leg can move forward.

Sometimes we need to provide a little help for the child to swing the free leg forward. Verbal help works for some. Coach them to lift their free leg. Sometimes we need to offer more help with touching the hamstring or slightly lifting the heel.

As a parent or therapist you may initially feel like you are the one getting the workout, crawling around on the floor prompting the child. With time and repetition the use of these outside inputs will decrease. Keep in mind that while you are focusing on moving one leg forward, your child is working on:

- orienting themselves in a vertical world
- holding the head
- supporting the torso and orienting it
- bearing weight
- balance
- what to do with arms
- trying to activate the many muscles used in gait
- relaxing muscles that oppose the muscles they need to fire
- adjust to the idea of an orthotic that forces their limbs in proper alignment (it can be distracting)

Why do we need the orthotic? It makes the system difficult to use.
Ease of use was a driving factor in the design of the TAOS. The orthotic does add complexity but it is a necessary element of the system. The goal of the orthotic is to place the legs in the best position for walking. Once properly oriented the child can fire the appropriate muscles to walk. Unwanted movement is restricted and helps to train the appropriate muscles.

Without the orthotic we see children "learning" to use the wrong muscles. Outside of an orthotic children often use hip abductors to swing their leg forward. Not only are we training the wrong muscle, but this overuse of a muscle not normally used in gait cascades into a whole other set of problems.

My child always turns to the left. Can you lock the wheels straight?
Most children will naturally go to one side or the other. This is because one side is stronger, more limber, or more coordinated. The goal of the TAOS is to give your child a workout to build up the side not working as hard.

The way to walk straight is to work on equal steps left and right. Since they are probably trying to walk as evenly as they know how, you need to encourage longer steps on the weak side and/or have them take shorter steps on their good side.

When just getting started in the TAOS we often just help them out by walking beside them and pushing sideways on the top of the mast to counter their turning tendency. Though they will improve there may be bad days and need a little help.

Do you have an attachment for my childs hands? It would be helpful to lean on.
No. One of the major benefits from using the TAOS is that it uses the whole body working the trunk muscles for stability. We recommend a slow approach to using the TAOS.

No. Some patients spend weeks working on head control without taking a step. They can then move on to trunk and lower body movements.

When a patient can't walk well because of lack of head/trunk control it indicates that they need more time working on that. It is very different controlling your head in a wheel chair and controlling it during weight bearing. The rear wheels TAOS can be locked so that the child can work on that skill without having to move. You could also place the TAOS in a seated or standing position and work on occupational therapy using hand movements while upright. The weight shifts of moving the arms gives some children quite a workout of the neck and trunk muscles.

If you are looking for a device to hold or occupy the hands so they do not move inappropriately we do not yet have a device, but we are aware of the issue.

At times my child just lifts their legs. How can I make my child support themself?
The cords are used to help with walking as well as insuring the child is weight bearing. Proper adjustment will help in correct walking as well as using the TAOS as a stander.

If you see both knees coming forward to lifting the feet off the ground you need to tighten the rear cords. Ideally the cords should be adjusted so that the knees are directly below the hips. However many children are unable to straighten their knees to this degree. You can stretch the hamstrings by making the rear cords a little tighter.

If you see both ankles going to the rear to avoid weight bearing you need to tighten the front cord. Ideally the cord should be adjusted so that the ankles are directly below the hips. If the cord is too tight it will make it hard to lean forward to initiate gait. Usually the front cords will require little adjustment once you get them set properly.

If you make both cords too tight walking will be difficult. You will see the child struggle to swing a leg through because the rear cord is holding them back. They will then overcome the cord and rapidly swing through. Usually this is an indication that the rear cords are too tight.

How do I use the TAOS as a stander?
If you wish to use the TAOS as a stander you can intentionally over tighten the rear cords.

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