You have already spent more than a decade helping your son or daughter through the challenges of spina bifida. This neurological birth defect results from an improperly formed spinal cord and can cause nerve damage, hydrocephalus, paralysis, and a host of other physical and cognitive disabilities. Childhood may be full of regular doctor’s visits and surgeries, and as the teen years approach, you may be doubtful of your child’s ability to operate a vehicle. Despite all of the challenges caused by spina bifida, many people will still be able to get behind the wheel, though they may require special adaptive driving equipment and additional training to reach their goals of mobility and independence.
When you lose part of your body to amputation, it can be a long road to recovery, both physically and mentally. On top of the time spent healing from the surgery, going through physical therapy, and adapting to the use of a prosthetic limb, there is also a loss that needs to be grieved and a new way of life that needs to be adopted. Part of this new life is wrestling with how your amputation will impact your mobility and independence. Once daily tasks such as driving become difficult or seemingly impossible, and you may be tempted to give up. But don’t throw away the keys yet, there’s good news. In most cases, with rehab, training, and possibly some adaptive driving devices, you can get back behind the wheel and continue living your life in freedom.