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[Video] Tom and his Innowalk – a life full of movement and activity

Thomas Schwarze
Thomas Schwarze
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boy happy standing up in his innowalk

It's a very special story marked by love, effort, and unstoppable determination. It's about Tom and his family. In the interview, Sandra, Tom's mother, shares her life with us, with all its small and large challenges.

Tom and his family 

The family of four lives on a large farm in the rural outskirts. A converted half-timbered barn, a lake on the doorstep, a large meadow and a horse stable make the home a paradise for people with and without disabilities as well as for numerous pets. Tom's brother is three years younger than him, his mother works part-time as a special school teacher and mainly looks after Tom. She uses the wonderful phrase: 

“It´s my fulfillment.”  

That's why she trained as a horse-assisted therapist and educator and bought a therapy horse for Tom. His father is self-employed and therefore the family's reliable main provider. 

Tom was born in 2007 and is a cheerful boy who loves to laugh and inspires everyone around him with his enthusiasm. But Tom is also severely disabled and his ability to communicate is limited to laughing and crying. His reactions result from keywords that promise him things or activities. Nevertheless, he loves movement and action. Tom is not sensitive and has extreme perception delays, so it takes very rough stimuli to reach him. 

His mother Sandra laughs: "Water fights, pillow fights, playing ball, rolling on the floor, on the ball - everything with action motivates Tom." 

But this urge for attention, support and activity is also a major challenge in everyday life.  

“Tom hates sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time, not seeing people and being preoccupied with himself,” she explains. “Then the auto-aggressive behavior quickly starts. Tom used to pull extremely hard on his ears and cheek. When he's bored, not feeling well, or thinks he's being sidelined, he starts to self-harm. It starts with complaining and a sad face, but that quickly escalates into self-harm.” 

And despite the seriousness, she adds with a smile: "He has conditioned us well and we jump as soon as he doesn't feel well." 

The long car rides in the morning and home from the special school for physical and mental development require all of Tom's patience - and this is exactly where the dynamic stander Innowalk, called "Tipptapp", has come into play for around 10 years now. The Innowalk is pushed around the house so that Tom can move around and be with the others anytime and anywhere. 


Tom´s story and his way to the Innowalk 

Sandra recounts Tom's early years in which she and her husband faced uncertainty. Abnormalities were discovered during the pregnancy that could not be defined even after Tom was born. But the young parents decided to accept Tom unconditionally and offer him the best possible support. This is how their journey began, marked by numerous visits to the doctor and examinations that ultimately did not produce a clear diagnosis. Tom is unique, his illness is unnameable. The doctors' reports vaguely say "central movement disorder", but Sandra and her husband have been clear since his birth: They will always do everything they can to support Tom and accompany his development. 
Since Tom was an infant, the family has used various assistive devices and activities to increase his abilities. As a little boy, Tom used the gait trainer NF-Walker with enthusiasm until he was able to try out the Innowalk for the first time at the SPZ (Social Pediatric Center). 

Sandra remembers with a smile: "Tom tested it and laughed his head off - he giggled and screamed in the device, he had so much fun that the device immediately convinced all the doctors and physiotherapists - and of course me too. We then got the Innowalk home to try it out and tested it for six months - it was in constant use! Tom is in the device 1-2 times a day for 1-2 hours. This is OUR device!” 

In 2014, the Innowalk was prescribed and approved immediately, so that it could finally be delivered in 2015! 

One of Sandra's biggest challenges was providing Tom with the attention and support he needed while managing everyday life. Here the dynamic stander quickly proved to be invaluable. Tom was able to walk in the Innowalk while Sandra completed her daily tasks. This taught Tom not to always be the center of attention, but also to be “with himself” sometimes. It was a relief for Sandra to see how Tom gained more independence and independence through the movement trainer. 

The Innowalk allows Tom to train his muscles and improve his mobility - staying healthy overall. For Sandra, today the dynamic stander is not just an assistive device, but an indispensable part of her family's life. 

The new Innowalk model 

The new model of the Innwalk has been in the house for about a month. 

Tom's mother laughs when she thinks of the signs of wear and tear that occurred after years of extremely intensive use of the old dynamic stander:  

«Everyone was eagerly waiting for the new Innowalk so that we could finally get rid of the old “squeaky thing!» 

For Sandra, the integrated transport system at the new device is a great relief. The Innowalk no longer needs to be lifted, but can easily be pushed from one room to another. In addition, the swivel seat is an unbeatable advantage. She tells: 

“Tom is 17 years old and 1.75 m tall. My handles are right, I manage to lift him into the Innowalk - but other people, for example in a living group, they wouldn't be able to do that. And that would be fatal for Tom! With the swivel seat, the Innowalk is THE device of the future for Tom - he stands up himself from the wheelchair, you just have to turn him and put him back on the seat, that's great!" 

While Tom barely used the arm movement handles in the previous model, he grabs them more spontaneously with the new Innowalk and can hold them better. The slightly curved arm movement handles are much more suitable for Tom. 

Overall, Sandra judges the new Innowalk model to be very user-friendly, solid and pleasant. And while she hopes for further developments of the Innowalk, life without the dynamic stander is hard to imagine. 

Tom´s future 

The story of Tom and his family shows how closely movement and quality of life are linked. For Tom, movement is not only important for his physical health, but also for his well-being and satisfaction. 

His mother says with a smile: 

“Tom took communion a few years ago. We had a long session at church, a long drive back and had a champagne reception here at home. And Tom welcomed his guests in the Innowalk, wearing a stylish tie, vest and shirt. He had the table in front of him and received his presents there - and at the same time he walked. Everyone stood around him. Afterwards we were able to sit down again to eat. But beforehand he was at eye level and at the same time had the necessary movement. He was totally integrated!” 

Above all, Sandra wishes Tom to be healthy and happy in the future. She wants him to continue to progress and live his life to the fullest. 

The story of Tom and his family is an inspiration to us all. She shows us that with love, determination and the right assistive devices, every person can go their own way, no matter what obstacles they face in life.  

For Tom, the Innowalk is more than just any device - it helps him discover the world and reach his full potential. 


mom and boy in innowalk playing with a ball

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Thomas Schwarze
Thomas Schwarze

Thomas Schwarze is a physiotherapist and gained valuable experience in various practices and clinics before joining Made for Movement. He has been with the company for almost two decades, initially as a product specialist and advisor in the field. As an advisor, he now works closely with the marketing team and sales management. In this context, he is always on the lookout for new insights and stories from the areas of assistive technology, therapy and rehabilitation.

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