Hand Rails for a Special Needs Child

The other day, I received an email from a mother that read:

“I love all of your blogs and creative ideas and I’m wondering what thoughts you would have for designing a room, specifically a bathroom for a special needs child. My daughter is 12 and she’s special needs (mild cerebralpalsy [sic]). She gets around good but does not have as much strength in her body as a child without special needs. Her difficulty is manoevering [sic] around in a bathroom and the assistance bars that you see in handicapped bathrooms as well as tubs aren’t exactly pretty. Just wondering how you would design a room like that to be as beautiful as the ones you have on your blogs. Thanks!”

I read every email when it comes in, but I get quite a few (and a surprising number of WordPress “how to” questions – why, I have no idea!), so even though I read them, it sometimes takes a while to answer them and I respond to them in the order that I receive them. Not the case in this one. I replied immediately due to the nature of the design dilemma. I wanted to post my solution to her in case others were in the same position, whether for a child, adult or an elderly individual.

I asked her what finish her faucets were, but it turns out she was going to renovate the entire bathroom and would go with my suggestion. I still wanted to give her a few options from which to choose, but my very first thought was this:

Recognize it?

It a brass bar foot rail, which can be customized (finials, caps, size, etc.), with horse brackets and can be used for hand railings as well as they are weight bearing. Assistance bars can be so utilitarian looking and, for a 12 year old girl, why not have her delighted instead by something pretty.

Being from Virginia (horse country) and on the riding team in college, I love all things horses. An equine theme is classic, regardless of the age.

But some other options could be considered:

And like a door knocker, a lion is regal.

Another option that addresses different finishes, but still has interest with the fluting and crisscrosses and runs about $200 (plus or minus $30 depending on the finish) for small ones.

It turns out, her daughter does horseback riding as part of her physical therapy program, so my first thought was the one that she adored and is going to use, which makes me immensely happy! I hope that her daughter smiles every time she sees her horses!

I had a big pallet delivered on Friday for a special house project that I am very, very excited about. It took so long to get this product ordered, but it should (fingers crossed) make for an amazing DIY post once I figure out how to construct it!!

I hope everyone is having a great day!

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