Friday, September 4, 2009

Emma's Equipment - Lots of photos

This post is a bit long, mostly due to the photos, since I wanted to make sure that I put in enough photos so anyone considering the items below could see the product in action. I'm happy to answer any questions you have on any of the items below, so just leave a comment if you have one.

A hot topic for parents with children with cerebral palsy is equipment. Since the equipment is expensive, has a long lead time, and not readily replaceable (insurance often requires it to last 3+ years before replacement), I'm posting a review of the equipment we use with Emma hoping that other parents might find it useful.

Positioning Chair: Jenx Giraffe. We absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this chair! It gives Emma all the support she needs to develop better fine motor skills, has wheels so we can move Emma around the house along with us and is kid-sized so she is on the same level to interact with other children. And, the huge bonus is that is is actually CUTE in addition to functional.

Stander: Leckey Squiggles Stander. We tried many, many standers and they just didn't fit Emma's petite figure until we tried the Leckey Squiggles based on recommendations from other parents. Emma LOVES this stander and I love how easy it is to put her in and out when I'm alone, which isn't as easy on most of the other models we tested. It also has wheels so it is mobile and I bring Emma all over the house with me. The stander has proven itself especially useful in the kitchen, where Emma can help us cook while we can use her tray as our preparation surface!

Feeding Seat: The First Years Infant to Toddler Feeding Seat. This works well, but we usually need to roll up receiving blankets and prop them on Emma's sides so she doesn't fall over the side. It also doesn't have any foot support for her to push against during feeding. But, it is the best solution at a low price we have found for ease of feeding, eating with us at the table, and portability. We actually bought two and keep one in the car and use it for picnics, remove the cover and put it in the baby pool to help support Emma, and bring into restaurants.

Chair: Tripp Trapp Chair is a chair that we bought used to work on Emma's trunk control. It sits at the perfect height for our table, but we needed something to help keep Emma on the chair so we are using the Leckey Waistcoat size 2. I also put some shelf liner on the seat surface to give Emma traction for sitting. It will be a while before Emma can sit for any extended length of time on this and she can easily kick her feet out without placing them flat on the foot surface, but I like having this seating option especially since I was able to buy the chair and waistcoat for less than a new Tripp Trapp chair.

Adapted Stroller: Kids Rock F.A.S.T. I find this to be an AMAZING piece of equipment and am so happy we have it. We have had this since April 2009 and I credit it for Emma's huge gains in head and trunk control. Her body is fully supported and she can focus on keeping her head up, moving her head all around to keep tabs of everything that is going on around her and enables her to more easily interact with her environment. On days that she is controlling her trunk really well I sometimes strap the lap belt and leave the chest straps off for a small period of time (seen in one photo below where Emma is showing off!) as long as we are right there next to her. The other really nice thing about this stroller is that she can kick her legs out and push out her back and the stroller has springs that allow the stroller to move with her. It makes it so much nicer to know that Emma can move in the chair when I'm strapping her into it!

There are a few drawbacks, though. It is a bit bulky even when folded - it easily fits in the back of our minivan, but probably wouldn't be able to fit in the back of the car with all the supports that Emma needs on it (note: if less supports are needed I think it folds more compactly). It is also heavy and awkward to pick up. After moving this in and out of the car by myself ~4x/day, I was getting a bit worried about throwing my back out. So, we bought a suitcase ramp to keep in the minivan and now I just wheel it in and out of the car via the ramp and this is no longer an issue.

Tummy Swing: Wingbo markets itself as a swing that makes tummy time fun. I think Emma agrees! The swing is a bit pricey, but Emma cannot roll herself off of her tummy while on it and she seems to love all the vestibular input and is now holding herself up really well. She is even even moving her arms while maintaining her posture - as seen in this photo that I snapped when Emma was moving her arm up to grab the edge of the swing with her hand - a major accomplishment for her!

2 Comments from readers:

Unknown said...

she is precious!!!! and what a nice piece of equipment that makes everyone more active and participative!!! yeah!

Anonymous said...

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