Shayna Gavin, Splash Principal Physiotherapist
Equipment to help us participate
Supportive equipment helps us participate
Every minute spent in therapy, education, equipment prescription or service coordination is aimed at helping your child participate in their daily lives.
When chosen well, supportive equipment will do just that.
It's all about the goal of the activity
Are we working on sitting balance?
Then the floor, a stool, or mum's knee might be a great choice.
But are we working on communication? Feeding? Problem solving? Writing?
Then some postural support will allow your child to focus on the task at hand, rather than staying upright.
Supportive equipment can make life easier. If chosen well!
We consider not only the needs of the child, but the needs of the carer/s. And the environment it will be used in.
We don't want carers getting sore backs from leaning over the get eye contact with a child.
And we don't want families tripping over supportive high chairs that are just too big for their kitchens.
And if the supportive pram can't fit inside grandma's hallway and down to the loungeroom, then that's no use either.
Flexible equipment can be amazing
I've been looking into these types of flexible systems for a few families I'm working with at present, having seen other families adore them.
The Stingray is a supportive seating system that can be used on different bases. They allow for tilt in space, come in 2 sizes and 4 colours.
There's the indoor high- low chair which is fantastic as a high chair, for table top play and social interaction with the rest of the family at the table.
There's the tilt in space push chair base which is great for going out. It uses the same supportive chair, so that you can use it as a high chair at your friend's place without lugging more equipment around.
The Shuttle Discovery
The Shuttle Discovery offers a range of bases. Purchase what you need.
There's a low chair near the floor, a high chair, a rocking chair, and the stroller.
The stroller allows your child to face you or out into the world, and there's accessories you can purchase to allow a second child to fit in the stroller when the next bub comes along!
The base folds up flat and easily. There's a great video on their website.
The seat can tilt back in an upright position to 40 degrees, or can recline from 90 to 160 degrees for a lie down or a nappy change on the run.
And, the covers remove with zips for machine washing.
I really like that you can have your physio or occupational therapist set up the supportive seat for you, then you can move it around into the base that suits you and your child at the time. These flexible options are definitely not cheap. But when they're appropriate to the child's needs, I like the ease of use, and how they don't leave you with a house full of equipment.
Just another thing to think about folks!
Shayna Gavin and Splash Physiotherapy receive no perks or fees for endorsing these products.
We just like them.
You may well be able to purchase these products from other suppliers than those we have linked to in this blog piece.
Equipment prescription requires assessment from a qualified health professiona, such as a paediatric occupational therapist and/ or physiotherapist.
There are options for public funding to assist in the cost of purchasing equipment. Talk to your health professional for advice. We're happy to help if you need it :-)