Meet Parker! One of our Micro friends with a knack for riding his scooter. Parker has a form of dwarfism, meaning getting around can sometimes be tough. We saw him using his Micro Mini2Go Scooter as a mobility device in the airport, and we had to know more. So we got to chatting with his mom, Alison, about Parker, his scooter, and their family’s day-to-day.
This blog is part of a series of Micro Stories. Click here to see them all.
Hi Alison! Can you tell me a bit about Parker’s diagnosis? When did you find out?
Pseudoachondroplasia is a type of skeletal dysplasia (commonly referred to as dwarfism). Some of the primary features are short stature, shorter limbs and joint pain due to both inflammation and limb misalignment. Pseudoachondroplasia typically takes a few years to diagnose. Children are born at an average height and then start to fall off the growth curve due to the gene mutation not allowing proper bone growth. Parker had just turned 3 when we got his final diagnosis.
That must have been an emotional time. What did the diagnosis mean for your family?
His diagnosis was a complete surprise and changed our life in a lot of ways. Some activities were taken off the table and others we have to figure out how to make accessible. We went from thinking we would be a skiing/hiking family to “Let’s be a biking and swimming family!”
We are constantly thinking about mobility and accessibility and how Parker will be able to access anything we do. We have learned to embrace a slower pace and relish in what we can do. We have had the opportunity to become connected to countless other families in a similar boat through Little People of America. Life is more complicated in some ways but we are also more aware of the struggles of others, whether those struggles are similar to our own or completely different.
We were at a Little People of America regional conference and our friend’s son, who was Parker’s age, was using a similar scooter. At the time we were only using a stroller to help Parker with longer distances but knew we wanted something that would give him more independence. We didn’t even know companies were making scooters with seats. We did our own internet search and found the Micro Mini2Go Deluxe.
How long has he been using it? What is the process like to use it as a Mobility Device?
We got it right before Parker started kindergarten. We had his school check it out and they felt comfortable letting him use it around the school. Our original plan was basically to just use it at school because we weren’t sure how other establishments would react to it. We quickly realized he needed an independent mobility device out and about so we started taking it to more places.
I would call larger establishments like a museum or the airport and explain the scooter to them and how Parker used it. Everywhere I called was okay with the scooter so Parker started using it full time. We never got it officially approved as a mobility device. Our geneticist has offered to type up a letter explaining why he needs the scooter so that we could shrink it down and keep it with us, but we haven’t had a need for that yet. This trip flying out of LAX was the first time we have had it officially tagged as a mobility device at the airport. No one else has ever asked about it.
Your family seems to be on the move often! Where’s your favorite place you’ve gone with your Micro?
We all agreed on the Golden Gate Bridge. Watching him cruise down the bridge was magical. He looked so free.
Why the Mini2Go and not a more traditional mobility device?
Traditional mobility devices were too restrictive, too large, too expensive for our needs. One day he’ll need them but not today. It’s tricky when you have partial mobility. Traditional mobility devices are a bit too much but there isn’t really anything out there that’s just right. We wanted Parker to be as mobile as possible while still protecting his joints. The Mini2Go allows him to still exercise his legs without putting too much pressure on his joints. He is able to use it as a seat when he needs a rest but can easy hop on and off, allowing him more freedom.
My favorite feature is the steering. It’s so smooth and makes it easy for him to navigate. Traditional mobility devices seem to have a steeper learning curve and they definitely don’t cruise like Parker does on the Mini2Go. It's also so small and light. We can take it anywhere without taking up a lot of space. We can carry it up and down stairs when we our path isn’t accessible. If Parker is up for walking around, we can just carry it, no problem. Not to mention it’s a bargain!
Last question for Parker: what’s your favorite thing to keep in the drawer compartment?
He says the art he makes at the children’s museum!
One last note from Alison:
To those who have mobility, be grateful for it and go out and use it! In the same breath, be thoughtful of those who struggle with mobility. Mobility allows for independence. Even though my son’s experience with mobility will look different than my own, I know he can live a full and rewarding life. I hope we can continue to find ways to help people with mobility so they can have independence and won’t feel held back from experiencing this world.
We're certain that Parker has a bright future ahead of him! Interested in Parker's ride? While Parker's Mini2Go scooter is discontinued at this time, our best-selling Mini 3in1 Deluxe scooter is a similar option that helps growing toddlers and children move independently. Need a product suggestion? Click below to contact us!
Big thanks to Alison and her family for sharing their amazing story! We sourced this post's photos from their Instagram, where you can follow along with their adventures.