October is Physical Therapy month! To celebrate, we sat down with Freedom Concept’s own physical therapist, Dan Judson, and asked him a few questions about physical therapy, adaptive bikes and more!

Why did you become a physical therapist?

I was on my way to becoming a lawyer, and then my grandmother fell and broke her hip. I took her to her physical therapy appointments and the rest is history. Once I discovered pediatric physical therapy, the road before me was set.

What’s your favorite story you have from working at Freedom Concepts?

There are many favorites. One story that stands out is about a 10-year-old boy with severe physical impairments whose participation in general community activities was limited. We got him on his bike going down the sidewalk. An obviously seasoned rider approached on a road cycle. As they passed each other they gave each other the biker’s nod of recognition and solidarity. It was a joyfully tearful moment for everyone around.

Dan riding his bike as a child.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Not much, unfortunately, I’m a pretty open book. Let’s go with the fact that I secretly love karaoke.

What are the biggest benefits of adaptive biking?

Having a therapeutic activity that can make you work hard and enjoy it. Research solidifies adaptive cycling as a tool that ticks all of the boxes on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Not the least of which is the social and family participation aspects.

What do you think the biggest misconceptions about adaptive bikes are?

That they’re just for fun and that only certain people can ride. They are a research-proven valuable therapy tool, and if you want to ride, we can make it happen.

What’s your favorite movie?

At the risk of indicating my vintage, Shawshank Redemption.

Why are Chill-Out Chairs good for children with special needs?

Because they are comfortable and provide functional postural support for children and adults of all sizes. The Chill-Out Chair is a great alternative-seating option with a full array of supporting accessories. Did I mention that they’re comfortable? The comfort is directly related to the design and material used to make the chairs. Comfort is not typically a standard for funding, but when our/your clients are functionally comfortable in seating, the following results get funders’ attention.

  • Increased sitting tolerance
  • Increased attention to the task at hand
  • Sensory regulation can have significant calming effects
  • Relaxed sitting posture, can result in less interference from painful positions

The PT in me appreciates all of the above but gets the biggest sense of satisfaction from the smiles on the faces of the comfortable sitter and the excitement of the caregivers.

What type of environment are Chill-Out Chairs most beneficial in?

In short, anywhere. My experience with the Chill-Out Chair has seen well-loved results in the following settings:

  • Classrooms (they often get occupied by other children as a place to relax and learn, or decompress when needed)
  • In the home as a welcomed and cool looking addition to the furniture aesthetic.
  • Seating clinics as a seat that is easy to use between fittings and adjustments
  • Group homes as a safe and calming seating option often shared between residents
  • Long-term care settings

Where’s the furthest you’ve traveled?

Not counting my personal journey towards being a better human, the furthest travel measured by miles was to West Africa where I volunteered as a PT and helped to establish programs that could be ongoing through community education.

Dan is the Education Manager at Freedom Concepts. He is also the Territory Manager for British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia here in Canada. If you’d like to speak to Dan about the physical and mental benefits that come with adaptive bikes and Chill-Out Chairs, feel free to book an appointment with him!

Click Here to Book an Appointment With Dan