Therapist Testimonals


The key to gaining independent ambulation is practice. Infants gain independent ambulation through walking miles each day. When a movement disorder like cerebral palsy limits muscle strength and length, balance and motor control, practice of independent ambulation become a challenge.

Gait trainers such as walkers, canes and crutches are currently used as the standard of care for practicing gait in children with movement disorders. As a pediatric physical therapist, the limiting factor I have found with these devices is the decreased ability to practice balance strategies that prevent falling while holding onto a gait trainer. While using these devices, balance reactions are placed at the level of the device rather than allowing the child to practice using trunk, hip, and ankle muscles to catch their balance.

The Wingman allows children the ability to practice ambulation without requiring their hands be in contact with an assistive device. The design of the Wingman provides the therapist the ability to provide assistance as needed in a graded manner. The device allows extended practice of ambulation in a controlled manner and has excellent utility as a gait trainer in the setting of therapy. Due to the small size and easy donning/doffing, this device is an ideal gait trainer for use within the home and community.

In addition, this device allows practice of higher level gait and balance skills as well. The goal of pediatric physical therapists is to allow children to participate in all activities. Learning to bike riding or play hopscotch through the safe practice allowed through the use of the Wingman is extremely beneficial for children and therapists alike. This device has a clear therapeutic benefit in both the formal therapy setting and the home/community settings. This gait trainer has high compliance when used with families and allows daily, repetitive practice of skills.

Courtney Dunn, PT, DPT



I am a physiotherapist who has been practicing in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for over 15 years.  I work primarily with children with physical and cognitive disabilities in the school system, in their homes and in community settings.  I have been using the Wingman Harness for the pastthree years and have been distributing them to my colleagues across the province for the past two.  I wanted to share feedback on how theyare being used and express how important this equipment is for the clients we serve.  In my practice, I use the Wingman primarily as a gait  trainer.  Many of the children I see use mobility aids (primarily reverse configuration walkers) and the Wingman is an excellent therapy tool to help progress their control and independence in walking.  It is ideal to help build skills and confidence on stairs or uneven surfaces (e.g., in the sandbox on the playground, on snowy fields), and provides additional support when building hip stability (e.g., through practicing side stepping).   There are very few similar harnesses available on the market, though none are designed for facilitating walking.  Before the Wingmanbecame available, I know of families that supplied schools with various things to be used for this purpose including a ski harnesses, an infantwalking support and even a dog harness.  It has been wonderful to finally have an option that we know is tested for use as a gait trainer!  In addition to the advantages the wingman provides for mobility training, it is an excellent option for safety.  This is a particularly good option forthose clients who also have drop seizures, and has been used to more safely (and respectfully) prevent clients from bolting.  I also used theWingman Harness in my Masters research when teaching cycling to children with Down syndrome.  It was so successful that we now routinely use harnesses in our free learn to ride courses (  The high level of adjustability of the Wingman Harness and comfort itaffords the wearer helps decrease chance of injury for both the client and for the person supporting them.  In summary, the Wingman is a much needed piece of equipment that helps fill several gaps.  


Janine Halayko, PT, MScRS, BScPT Physiotherapist



As a pediatric physical therapist, I have used the Wingman harness in both my clinical practice and in my research.  I find that the Wingman Harness allows children to safely practice ambulation skills in a variety of functional settings.  Although assistive devices such as gait trainers and walkers are frequently used in pediatric rehabilitation, the Wingman Harness not only allows children to practice their ambulation skills, it prevents falls while simultaneously permitting these children to actually utilize balance and postural control strategies in a manner that cannot be simulated with use of any currentgait trainers or walkers.  Further, as with any motor learning tasks, repletion is vital to successful learning and the Wingman harness allows children who have limited mobility skills the opportunity to achieve the repetition and practice necessary to improve their functional ambulation.

I first used the Wingman Harness in my research starting in 2013.  Since little was then known about the Wingman Harness, I initially conducted a case series involving three children with cerebral palsy and used the Wingman harness as a way to provide these three participants with a home-based body weight supported treadmill training program. This case series resulted in significant improvements in ambulatory function for two of the three subjects.  The results of this case series were disseminated at three conferences (two State conferences and one National conference).  The abstract for the National conference was published in the Fall 2014 edition of Pediatric Physical Therapy.    
I have found the Wingman harness to be an invaluable therapy device that has been is designed to be utilized by both therapists and parents as part of a therapeutic program to improve functional mobility in children with cerebral palsy and other mobility limitations.  

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS Associate Professor




Kenyon LK, Westman M, Hefferan A, McCrary P, Baker B.

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI.

BACKGROUND & PURPOSE: Contemporary approaches to the treatment of children with cerebral palsy (CP) advocate a

task-specific approach that emphasizes repetition and practice of specific tasks. Recent studies also suggest that children with

CP may benefit from a body-weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) program in clinical settings. To explore the potential

impact of greater opportunities for practice and repetition of walking tasks, this case series was undertaken 1) to develop

an intervention and measurement protocol and 2) to execute and analyze the outcomes of a home-based BWSTT program to

improve functional ambulation in 3 children with CP.

CASE DESCRIPTION: Three children with CP at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels III or IV participated

in this case series. Examination procedures included use of the Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ), the 10-meter

walk test, the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66), the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Computer

Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT), and the Caregiver Priorities & Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD). A multi-sport

harness with an accompanying ceiling mount system was used to set up the body-weight support apparatus over a treadmill

in participants’ homes. At the onset of the case, Participant 1 required physical assistance and manual cueing to take steps on

the treadmill when using the harness for support. Participants 2 and 3 were able to take steps on the treadmill when using

the harness. Parents received education and training regarding execution of the home-based BWSTT program. Parents carried

out the intervention over an 8-12 week period at a frequency of 3 times week for 15-20 minute sessions with rest breaks as needed.

Parents documented details regarding each session (time walking on the treadmill, number of breaks, etc.).

OUTCOMES: All of the families and children reported enjoying the home-based activity and found the harness system easy to use.

Participant 1 did not demonstrate improvements in any of the outcome measures administered.

Participant 2 increased from a score of 2 to a score of 4 on the FAQ and progressed from a GMFCS level IV to a GMFCS Level III.

Participant 3 did not show significant improvements in gait speed over the 10-meter walk test but increased from a score

of 6 to a score of 7 on the FAQ and was able to transition from using a walker as his primary assistive device to using bilateral walking poles.

DISCUSSION: The 2 participants in this case who were able to take steps on the treadmill at the onset of the intervention period appeared to achieve functional gains following a home-based BWSTT program. In addition to functional gait and mobility outcomes, future research should explore the potential health and wellness benefits of the cardiovascular exercise provided though a home-based BWSTT program.