1. Twelve months is too early to begin power mobility
A usability study on the Explorer Mini with young children found the device promoted self-initiated movement in the majority of children tested. The Explorer Mini has been regulatory approved as safe and effective for targeted population. Through a usability study testing, the Explorer Mini was found to promote exploration and self-initiated movement in young children with mobility limitations
2. My child is too young to use a joystick
Of the 33 children under 36 months who participated in human factor validation studies of the Explorer Mini, 94% were able to move the device using the midline joystick control while 88% demonstrated cause and effect learning through grasping and releasing the joystick. The proportional joystick provides multi-modal sensory input and allows movements in all directions. The striking yellow color and position of joystick on the tray encourages eyes and hands coming to midline, grasp & release and bilateral upper extremity integration.
3. Explorer Mini does not provide enough seating or supports
The Explorer Mini provides a safe, supportive position without use of restrictive positioning components that limit freedom of movement necessary to develop postural control, strength and balance. The open design of the Explorer Mini supports development of postural control, strength and balance.
4. The Explorer Mini needs a headrest
As lifting and holding head in prone is usually achieved by 3 months, use of a headrest at this stage may inhibit development. A headrest may contribute to auditory neglect, limit vestibular input or restrict rotation of the head. The Explorer Mini is designed to facilitate activities such as weight bearing on elbows to aid in the development of head control.
5. The application for the Explorer Mini is limited without alternative drive controls such as switched input devices
The Explorer Mini was designed to support development and self-initiated mobility. Simply pressing a switch may contribute to cause and effect learning but does not provide the same degree of proprioceptive input as a joystick. If the goal was purely movement then a switch might be fine. The purpose of the Explorer Mini is to facilitate development and not just moving from point A to B.
6. The Explorer Mini doesn't have a soft enough seat cushion
The firm saddle seat provides proprioceptive feedback to facilitate upright posture and is not intended for all day use. The gentle slope of the saddle seat promotes anterior pelvic tilt while positioning the knees in slight abduction to support hip development. Additionally, children in the intended age range are likely to be wearing a diaper while in the Explorer Mini.
7. The Explorer Mini looks like a toy but is priced like a medical device
The Explorer Mini is a Class II prescription only medical device that has been rigorously tested and deemed safe for intended use through human factors validation studies. It is the only power mobility solution for young children ages 12-36 months on the market today that has been regulatory cleared by the FDA. While toy-like in appearance the Explorer Mini is a medical device that was specifically designed to be appealing to young children and their families.