Although not everyone with ataxia uses a wheelchair, many people find it makes life easier. Some people can walk short distances or stand for a short period; they may use a wheelchair for the rest of the time.

Diversity in manual and electric wheelchairs is growing all the time. Technological developments mean chairs can be made stronger, faster, and lighter than ever before. There are many different types of manual and electric wheelchairs, including sports wheelchairs, standing wheelchairs and transport wheelchairs.

Factors such as age, need and ability are all important when finding a suitable wheelchair. The cost can vary from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds, depending on what the chair is made of and whether it has been made to measure.

Manual wheelchairs are often available through the NHS, though these are usually older models. It is best to be assessed by an occupational therapist to find the most suitable wheelchair for your needs and requirements.

The main advantage of using an electric wheelchair rather than a manual wheelchair is that it is less physically demanding. All operating is done by battery, and you do not need to rely on assistance to move.

 At first I felt embarrassed being in a wheelchair, but my friends and family were a great source of strength.

Go Kids Go! is a charity that runs practical, fun courses to train children in the skills they need to become independently mobile.

Web:   www.go-kids-go.org.uk