No matter your needs, Dejay has a trike to suit
Fun and fitness are combining perfectly for Francesco Squillacioti, who has started exploring his local area on a tricycle from Dejay Medical. Francesco received a Theraplay IMP tricycle in February and his family is overjoyed by the new level of independence the equipment has given him in less than 10 months.
The four-year-old from southern Sydney has a number of physical challenges. He suffered a brain injury at birth and
has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, cortical vision impairment and epilepsy. While Francesco already enjoyed moving around and dancing to The Wiggles in a walker, and loves to participate in Frame Football, the IMP tricycle has given the family more flexibility when it comes to outdoor activities. His mum, Caterina, says it’s been a fantastic piece of equipment and would highly recommend it.
“I had lengthy discussions with Francesco’s physiotherapist about the benefits including increasing his cardiovascular fitness, improving motor planning and increasing his overall strength,” Caterina says.
“We are really starting to see those benefits now as he initiates peddling, which he couldn’t do prior.”
Francesco rides his tricycle every day (when the weather permits), spending time enjoying their neighbourhood or the local cafe. Given the local park is beckoning as the summer months approach, Francesco is expecting to enjoy more outdoor freedom alongside his one- year-old sister, Elena.
““The physical benefits are great, but he also has so much fun,” Caterina says. “We really enjoy witnessing Francesco participate in age-appropriate activities that give him a sense of independence and joy that no other item of equipment has done for him thus far.
“It’s been great — it has the best amount of support for Francesco, which is super important he always feels very supported in it without it looking and feeling clunky.”
The IMP is the smallest tricycle in the Theraplay range and is suitable for children aged from two-and-a-half- years-old. It has a low gear ratio for easier pedalling, and small diameter handlebars for little fingers to operate. A wide range of support options are available to cater for all children.
When Francesco outgrows the IMP he can transition to the Terrier Tricycle — an easy to pedal cycle designed for younger riders. It is constructed from a strong, yet lightweight frame that will fold for easy transport to take on new adventures. With the “Hitch” option (which hooks on to another bike, for example a parent’s bike), Francesco will be able to ride for longer journeys with family and friends.
Dejay Medical’s Steve Andrew says the Theraplay range is versatile and extremely popular.
“We are helping many families like Francesco and Caterina explore their local parks with this range of tricycles,” Steve says.
“Theraplay tricycles are unique in that they have a folding frame, making them easy to transport to explore new places, take on holidays and to ride with your friends.”
Theraplay is the U.K.’s longest established manufacturer of cycles for riders with additional support needs. With more than 40 years of manufacturing expertise, and with over 40,000 assessments completed over that time, they have developed a range of 20 models with many positioning accessories and gear options which allow each cycle to be created specifically for the needs of individual riders.
The Theraplay range is just one option provided by the team at Dejay Medical, a locally-owned business that supplies innovative and practical equipment including customised wheelchairs, handcrafted in Sydney, standing and walking solutions plus many more products to help families.
“Dejay has a wide range of tricycles to suit everyone’s particular needs,” Steve says.
“We offer everything from moderate to complex support needs, self-propel or power-assisted solutions, so if you live in a hilly area, the power option can help you make it home!”