When Debby Elnatan's son Rotem was two years old, she was told his cerebral palsy meant the boy would be confined to a wheelchair because he didn't know "what his legs are and has no consciousness," she told The Daily Mail.
Elnatan didn't give up hope that with repetitive walking training, Rotem would see some benefits—so she built a support harness called an Upsee to help with what can only be described as tandem walking. Now in mass development, the device allows parents to strap their child to their legs so they can walk together. The movement is a bit awkward, like how little girls dance on their dads' feet sometimes. Since 2012, designers, engineers, textile experts, and therapists from Leckey, a North Ireland company, have been working to develop the harness, which goes on sale April 7.
It's new, so long-term effects haven't been tracked, but experts believe it could help with physical and emotional development over time. Therapists already praise the Upsee's ability to help with family participation and quality of life. We can't help praising Debby Elnatan for this small step for parents of disabled kids.
In other news...
- North Korea Shot Off Missiles: For the first time in about five years, two mid-range missiles were launched—not long after U.S., Japanese, and South Korean leaders gathered (in Europe, smartly) to discuss the nuclear threat of Kim Jong-un. (via The New York Times)
- Belly Up to the Bar: An Alaska lawmaker is pushing legislation that would provide free state-funded pregnancy tests at bars, so would-be tipplers can know their mommy status before they order drinks. The reason? To eradicate fetal alcohol syndrome—but Republican state Sen. Pete Kelly opposes free birth control. (via Talking Points Memo)
- Mudslides, Explained: As the death toll from Saturday's mudslide in Washington rises to 16, there is no explanation for the pain and the loss. But here's a breakdown of the science behind mudslides, a story of gravity, erosion, and devastation. (via The New York Times)
- Boehner's Detractors Multiply: A faction of five Senate Republicans is pushing back against House Speaker John Boehner's agenda, siding with Democrats or taking more moderate stances on immigration and sexual discrimination in the workplace and most recently, restoring expired unemployment benefits. (via Politico)
- Birth of Terrorism: Former President Jimmy Carter warns that drones create terrorists in an interview about his book A Call to Action. (via HuffPost Live)
- Snowden Effect: As the White House and Congress move to create reforms that will curb the National Security Agency's domestic spying campaign, Politico takes a look back at the changes brought about by Edward Snowden's whistleblowing.
- Teed Off Ladies Tee Off: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews will vote in September on whether or not to admit women. ESPN calls the club's Old Course the "spiritual home of golf," but the members no longer administer rules for clubs outside the U.S. or Mexico.
- You Wear Nothing, Jon Snow: It's a skewed, sexy view of equality in media representation, but we'll take it! Kit Harington, the bearded wonder who plays Jon Snow in HBO's Game of Thrones, tells GQ his show should have more male nudity because it's only fair, what with all the naked women the show displays.
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