Shopping With Your Disabled Child Just Got Easier

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Sometimes I’m out and about with my two toddlers and having trouble managing it all. Then I look over at the mother of four calmly walking through the aisles with perfectly behaved children. Or I see the mother whose child isn’t just a rambunctious toddler but a rambunctious toddler with special needs. I have a friend at church who always seems perfectly composed and loving with her children, who are about the same age as mine. And one of them has Down syndrome and was recently also diagnosed with autism.

It impresses me and inspires me to think that I could do it, too, if in the same situation. I like to think about how I’d handle a child with special needs. So I was excited to see this new shopping cart that enables parents of special needs children to shop with ease. You can see the demo here:


Necessity is the mother of invention, indeed! But doesn’t this seem like it could be a great cart for some parents? Obviously the current models aren’t going to cut it. This model, however, is really well designed and thought through. I hadn’t really thought much about what it must be like to navigate shopping. If your child is in a wheelchair, do you push both the chair and the cart? What if they’re too big to sit in the normal shopping cart but not strong enough to walk with you?

It’s called Caroline’s Cart and on the web site the inventor explains:

My name is Drew Ann Long. My husband David and I are the parents of Caroline, a special needs child, who along with our other two children bring much happiness and joy to our lives. Having a special needs child presents unique challenges, but as a family we have learned to cope with these challenges and accentuate our blessings. However, there was one challenge that often presented itself with no apparent solution – grocery shopping. Something I do several times a week.

Ms. Long notes that cart could serve the roughly 1.6 million children between the ages of 6 and 14 who have a severe disability and help them experience normal day-to-day activities such as shopping. Another 1.5 million people are diagnosed with Autism, 4.5 million have some form of dementia and 14.1 million are elderly with mobility issues. If I were a retailer, I’d add a couple of these carts stat. It would be a surefire way to serve customers who would probably travel to get to your store. And, once they’re there, stay there and buy more.