Video Records Moment Boy in Wheelchair Experiences Swing Set for 1st Time


There are a lot of activities many people take for granted. Most of us were fortunate enough to spend our time running around and playing as kids without worrying too much about whether or not we’d be able to.

In the world before video games and iPhones, kids spent a lot of time outdoors. Some of the lucky ones still do, and exploring nature is a trademark of childhood.

Parks are geared toward family use: parents can watch their kids scramble across different levels, push each other down slides, and jump off of swings at their highest, most heart-stopping points.

But that’s not true for every family. For some families, the sight of kids freely using playground equipment is a little saddening, because playgrounds are not always designed to include different abilities.

Fortunately, this problem has been noted and changes are being made. Some playgrounds now include equipment that is wheelchair-friendly or will better suit a wider array of children.

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One instance of this inclusion recently took place at Creekmore Park in Arkansas. Thanks to the efforts of a local Presbyterian church, $2,000 was raised to make the swing a reality.

“We wanted to find a way to give back to our community and recognize all people with disabilities…” said Keley Simpson of First Presbyterian Church.

“One of our members actually uses a wheelchair,” Simpson added, “So she certainly understands what it’s like to not have things available or accessible.”

Because of the church’s generous donation, Seth, a 10-year-old boy who uses a wheelchair, finally got to try swinging.

Seth has Cerebral Palsy and Autism. Doctors said when he was younger that he would remain in a vegetative state, but clearly that is not the case.

Because of these conditions, Seth has not been able to use the playground like most kids, so when the park installed a swing that would accommodate him, his mom knew he’d have to try it out.

His mother, Trish Allen, took a video of his first attempt, not quite sure how her son would react to the event, but hundreds of thousands of people are elated that she had the foresight to record what ended up being a joyful day at the park.

“He wasn’t sure what to think because he had no experience with anything like this before,” said Allen. “We put him on it and as you can see in the video, he was excited.”

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“We’ve always had to do our own thing as far as making the world accessible to Seth,” his mother said, “So something like this coming along sort of takes the burden off of us. It’s one less battle for us in having to make the world accessible to him.”

“We’re the voice of these kids and they can only get as much of the world as we can give to them,” said Allen.

“Don’t be afraid to step out there and speak up for your child to give them opportunities that other children have, as well.”

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