Stroller for a big kid



My son is four and is getting too tall for his umbrella stroller. He is 38 pounds. He has autism and I need to have him in a stroller. We have been saving up and I really want a jogging stroller. We have a truck with a top, so it does not need to fold. We can just put it in the bed. Thanks.


Moderator - CPST Instructor
Which umbrella stroller do you currently have?

If you're not using your stroller off-road, you may want to stick with an umbrella. Larger kids in heavy strollers can be beasts! I DO love my MBUS and my Valco Runabout (and you may want to consider the ABC?) but I wouldn't want 40lbs + the jogging stroller weight in the mall.

Maclaren is the best option for larger/older kids in umbrellas--since they have a 55lb weight limit. You might be just fine with a Volo. My oldest son has autism (borderline Aspergers/autism) and I had to keep him contained, as well...when you're struggling with a child with special needs you don't need to struggle with your stroller as well. Keep it simple--chances are that if you're out and about your child is more free to wander and it's easier to keep tabs on him. The mall and crowded events tend to be more tricky--times you'll want something light that steers really well that also has a high weight limit--Maclaren. Since you don't need a recline, the Volo should do the trick.

If you want a jogger *as well*, I'd try out some of those named above. But I really think you'll need a better umbrella as your primary stroller as well.



With a medical diagnosis of autism, you should be able to have his physical therapist and/or his physician write a "justification" or a "prescription" for a larger stroller. As a special education teacher, I've helped with documenting that a child is unsafe (does not respond to "Stop" or "no," won't hold hands, runs, etc.) and as a result is prohibited from (or limited in) participating in the community. The form then is submitted to your insurance/Medicaid so they will help pay for this as durable medical equipment. You will probably have to argue your point but most PT's have experience with this.

MaClaren makes a LARGE (130 lbs.) umbrella type stroller for kids with special needs called "Major Buggy Stroller," but they don't come cheap ($400 and up). There are several other mfg. - trying searching "special needs strollers."

If you have not explored SSI/Medicaid options, I would also encourage this. In Nebraska and Mass., these programs help pay for daycare and "respite," have a data base of trained providers, and provide/pay for other services/items (diapers after age 3, Pediasure, etc.). Once they got passed the idea of "I'm applying for welfare," the families I work with are grateful for the services/opportunities provided by or that they learned about as a result of applying and being accepted.

Good luck!


Moderator - CPST Instructor
I had thought about suggesting the Major, but at 38lbs it seems like overkill at this point. A lot of kids make great progress until about 7 or 8 in how they function with autism. Crowds and listening skills are generally less of an issue as they get older (as with kids without autism).. The Major is large and really has the look of a special needs stroller...maybe in a few years if he still needs it? I wouldn't go that step right away, knowing how much progress my son made between 4 and 7.


We have a cheap Sears umbrella stroller. There isn't even a brand on it. It was about $10. I think that the Major is a bit too... major at this point. He is definately making a lot of great progress in all areas.

This stroller isn't for the malls and such. I want it more for around the block, beach, and- what really got me thinking- our Cure Autism Now walks. We are teaching him to "walk like a big boy" and we do a lot of that at stores. We don't go to the mall with him, but if we do it is a learning experience.

I don't really want to use insurance money for it. I want it to be a typical stroller. I feel like if we take advantage of the insurance that some people who need a thousand dollar stroller might get turned down.

Is the valco Runabout comfortable? Is the back tall? Will the 5-point harness acomadate a larger child?
Do you know any sites for the ABC in English? All I could find was in something else.
Does the MBUS have a 5-point harness? Will it really work for a child up to 75 pounds?



Moderator - CPST Instructor
Most cheapie umbrella strollers have a 30lb weight limit. :)

I like the Runabout, but I think that for the stability, the way the seat sits, and the size of your child that the MBUS is a better bet. I've never used an ABC personally, although I will get to try one out soon when my friend gets it.

Is the MBUS comfortable for a 75lb child? TOTALLY. You won't be able to use the hood (or even the extended canopy!) at that HEIGHT though.. but weight-wise it'll hold it no problem. It does have a 5-point harness that will fit an older/larger child (you have to adjust it up through the leather slots at the top)..

I think the MBUS is a good choice if you don't need a light umbrella and you'll be using it outdoors as well as in. The Runabout, although nice, I don't see working to the age you'll potentially still need a stroller at. My MBUS is definitely my favourite stroller.. :)


Patriot201 Ambassador
QuassEE said:
A lot of kids make great progress until about 7 or 8 in how they function with autism. Crowds and listening skills are generally less of an issue as they get older (as with kids without autism).. I wouldn't go that step right away, knowing how much progress my son made between 4 and 7.

Many kids do make significant progress, but the statements that "crowds and listening skills are generally less of an issue as they get older" may be a bit too much of a generalization. Some kids with autism make FANTASTIC progress, and do have less of a problem with crowds. Others, however, do not have that response at all. I can think of at least five different children with autism (all between the ages of 12 and 18) who still have significant issues with listening skills, crowds, and sensory integration. There has been little, if any, improvement since their preschool age, despite the fact that they have had nothing but the best in terms of education, occupational therapy, etc. Because autism is a SPECTRUM and because ALL kids are different, it is incredibly difficult to determine how much progress a child will make. We can only speculate...
my son is also autistic- 35lb at 5yrs old and we use a Volo

He loves it, I love it. He still has tons of room. I am on the tall side (5ft 10) and the handle height is adequate for me. He can even lift his legs up and criss cross them in the seat and fall asleep there.


New member
i use a volo with my 4yo (severe ADHD) when in very crowded places and major meltdowns, for her safety. she's tall at 43+", and the only other stroller she still fits in is my trek jogger/bike trailer combo (ive never used it as a bike trailer, only stroller).

my problems is that when she's having tantrums she will put her feet down under the wheels so the only way i can push her is to lift it up. I wish it was a bit taller so she couldn't reach there so easily. im afraid i will run her feet over sometime. does your son do this?

i'm only 5'5" with heels ;), but i found all the other umbrella strollers too short too.


New member
My 4 year old is also autistic, so I am looking for a new stroller. (Now that I have finally figured out which car seat to get him.) I have three kids and I can not take all three out with me right now. My 6 year old can walk, the 4 year old needs to be restrained or he will bolt away, and the 12 month old will either be in a stroller or in a carrier on my back. I think I am actually going to need two new strollers so I am going to start a new post about that.

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