Sport loving Alex is making big strides toward his therapy goals
Seven-year-old Alex Kouts lives with cerebral palsy which affects all four of his limbs and is supported by Novitatech for his assistive technology services, including orthotics and mobility equipment such as his walker and wheelchair. Both of which have supported him to enhance and improve his mobility.
Alex has been accessing Novita’s services since 2013 when he was just 10 months old, and has always loved to watch and play sports including AFL, soccer and cricket and is a budding YouTube star sharing videos about his love for sport, football cards and gaming.
Sonya Kuijpers, Alex’s mother, says that because of the support services that Alex has received from Novita including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, orthotics and mobility equipment over the past seven years, he has been able to make plenty of improvement and grow in confidence.
“Alex is a very fun loving, very happy, smiley boy, he’s very smart and he just loves life. He’s determined in everything that he does and he’s just a joy to have in our lives,” she says.
“Alex’s goals are to develop his mobility, his walking strength and endurance, improve his gross and fine motor skills, and do more everyday activities like self-care to help him to be more independent.”
Novita Senior Orthotist, Amy-Beth Seeley says that Alex has been able to make some significant improvements in his mobility thanks to the support of his orthotics.
“Alex splits his time between his wheelchair and his walking frame during the day, always making sure that he wears his AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthosis),” says Amy-Beth.
“He’s just had a growth spurt, so recently we’ve been adjusting Alex’s AFOs to accommodate this to make sure that the fit is optimal. Alex also has regular Botox treatment to help reduce the spasticity in his legs and then we make a new pair of AFOs to complement this,” she says.
“I’ve really noticed improvements in Alex’s walking, strength, endurance and his mobility because of his orthotics and mobility equipment from Novitatech,” says mum, Sonya.
“Specifically, I’ve noticed that Alex’s walking pattern has really improved with the support of his orthotics as they keep his feet and ankles in the correct alignment.”
In the last eight weeks, Alex has begun to take part in Novitatech’s RaceRunning program which gives him the opportunity to participate in sport, make new friends and continue to improve his walking and running abilities.
Novita’s Practice Leader, Kerry Evans is passionate about the RaceRunner program, which promotes the opportunity for kids and adults of all abilities to do some fitness work, get a sweat up, and work hard to feel safe and comfortable doing it.
“The RaceRunner looks like a tricycle but it doesn’t have pedals,” explains Kerry.
“It’s easy for the user to start moving the runner – first stepping and then running once they have momentum going.”
Like a duck to water, Alex absolutely loves RaceRunning and on his first go, took off and did a full lap of the running track at the Athletics SA stadium independently, saying that he loves “to go on the bikes and race everyone who’s doing laps!”
Sonya is thankful for the support of all of the therapists who have been part of Alex’s Novita journey and for giving him the tools to be able to fulfil his goals relating to mobility, endurance and strength, as well as supporting his dreams of being able to play sport.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to Novita and all the therapists and technicians who’ve supported Alex over the years, Alex wouldn’t be where he is without it, it’s been really special.”