Wilson uses a lot of equipment to help him throughout the day, every day. Below we have listed the equipment he uses past and present and how this benefits him or has benefited him. This will not only give you a bit more of an incite into Wilsons day to day life but will hopefully help people who are reading this and wanting to know what each piece of equipment does or what is out there for people will additional needs.
Jenx Corner Seat
Wilson no longer uses this but we loved it when he was younger! The Corner seat by Jenx is an adjustable floor based seating system for infants and young children. It offers support in long sitting, which is a great first seat to introduce children to floor sitting. Long sitting, with the legs stretched out in front helps maintain the length of the muscles behind the knee. This was the first supportive seat that Wilson had and it was absolutely fantastic for him, from going to only being able to sit on someones knee while held to being able to sit himself and learn to explore with his arms and hands was amazing. The table it comes with is huge! Which was perfect for big sister Ava to be able to play along with him too 🙂
Leckey Squiggles Standing Frame
This was Wilsons first standing frame and we tried and use it at least once a day, standing is important as human beings are designed to stand and when development is unhindered we don’t stop to think how important an upright position is. Wilsons standing frame improves blood pressure and circulation, helps digestion, bowel and bladder emptying, encourages bone and muscle development, aids aspiration and speech, helps relieve pressure created during sitting… and much more! Which is why we tried use it as much as we can! The only problem we found with this standing frame was that the table wasn’t really close enough for Wilson to be able to play with his toys but other than that we had no problems with this.
Leckey Squiggles Seating System
This was Wilsons second supportive seating and the one he still uses currently. He has started nursery (mainstream!) 3 half days a week and we made the decision to have this chair at his nursery for him there to use as he is so comfortable with it so feels happy in it while he’s there. It provides him all the support he needs to be in a sitting position and is comfortable for him too, he would happily spend hours in this at a time if we let him! It is height adjustable which comes in very handy and it also has wheels so he isn’t restricted to staying in just one place. As well as playing in this, Wilson also usually eats all his meals in it too 🙂
Jenx Monkey Standing System
Wilsons second standing frame and such a difference from the first standing frame he had! The first one was great and really strengthened him up and taught him to be able to stand fully supported for longer periods at a time but we just loved this one because the table is so much closer to allow him to play! He loves this one too and actually asked (in his own way!) to go in it, Wilson spent a lot of time in this before he outgrew it which was great because standing is SO important, you can read about why on the leckey website.
Leckey prone stander
This is very similar to his previous standing frame and provides a Wilson with full support in a standing position. He is able to do loads while standing in this frame (in this picture we were making pancakes!!) Wilson outgrew his previous standing frame and we were a bit nervous about what his next one would be like as he loved his other one so much but luckily he loves this one just as much! It also has wheels at the bottom which makes it very handy when moving it around the room.
Firefly GoTo Postural Support Seat
Now this is a product I could write pages on! We LOVE this. It is lightweight, provides full support and is totally portable! We have taken it to the library, used it on the swings, at friends and families houses, out in cafes, at the shops, at home… You can see where I am going with this, it really can be used anywhere! It comes in 2 sizes and can be used from the age of 1 right up to the age of 8. It can also be used on a plane which will come in so useful for us because now that Wilson is over the age of 2, he wont be allowed to sit on our knee anymore, his nana and grandpa live out in Spain so we visit when we can. Now that we have this product, we don’t know how we ever managed without it. You can find out more about the GoTo seat and all other Firefly products here.
Firefly GoTo Vinyl
This is the exact same as the GoTo mentioned above – but just that little bit better! It is wipe clean, water resistant, has a vibrant new colour, hard wearing and soft touch. We LOVE! You can read our review on the Goto seat Vinyl on our blog post.
BEST. BATHSEAT. EVER. Another Firefly product we are obsessed with! Wilson loves the water and enjoys a good splash, before we had this fully supportive bath seat we had to try and hold Wilson up in the bath, which wasn’t much fun for him or very good for our backs! It can either sit right up or lay back but Wilson prefers to be sitting up so we haven’t used it lying back yet (just look how happy he is!) Another great thing about this bath seat is that it is totally portable too so this is one we will definitely be taking to Spain with us on our next visit 🙂 we can’t wait to use it on the beach.
Wilson now uses this bath seat without the top straps for support! Of course, I always stand next to the bath and keep a close eye for him leaning to the side but his strength improves all the time and he’s doing so well!
This buggy is huge! As there is just under 12 months between Ava and Wilson so we had a double pram before getting this for Wilson and I am pretty sure this is even bigger than that but we still love it, its very easy to push. In a normal pram Wilson always slouched to the side and wasn’t comfortable at all, in this pram he was much more supported than a standard one. It comes with so many extras too! It comes with a table which is fantastic, a changing bag which hooks on to the handle and a bag underneath the buggy. the hood comes right down and it of course comes with all that is needed to make it totally weatherproof! It can face both ways too. Was a big improvement for us as Wilsons first specialist pram.
The scooot! What a fun little chair – with wheels! Wilson loves his scooot, when it first arrived he had no idea what it was for or why I was putting him in it but the more he’s got used to it the better he’s getting at moving around, we were very excited for this to come as it’s the first thing he’s had that will give him a bit of independence. Plus he’s learned to move forward in it himself and for a little boy who has cerebral palsy effecting all 4 limbs is just amazing! This is great for around the house and you can even take it outside, it has a big handle at the back that can be used to push it around until they get the hang of it themselves. We love it!
The scooot can also be used to help practice in a crawling position! You can take the back and the big wheels off to do this.
Rifton Pacer Gait Trainer
This bit of equipment is a HUGE deal! It will essentially help him learn to walk (hopefully!) It is a bit like his standing frame – with wheels! It provides full support while he is standing so there is no chance of him falling over. We don’t use this every single day and his physiotherapist actually advised against really using it at all as she doesn’t believe he is ready just yet but we like to try him in it maybe once a week, sometimes a bit more and sometimes a bit less. It really does tire him out and he can’t yet do a walking movement in it but even just learning to stand in it for short periods of time will benefit him as its less support than his standing frame so if he can tolerate it (which he is!) then it will help teach him to stand with less support too.
Update! Wilson has now started being able to do a walking movement in this – what a superstar!
Update number 2, Wilson has a new gait trainer but it’s the same brand as before – just a bit newer! It has leg straps to try and prevent his legs from scissoring
Wilson’s second specialist pram. We were told that nhs wheelchair services wouldn’t become involved with Wilson until he was 3 years old and we thought the pram we got for him would last him a long time anyway but his occupational therapist referred him as they had decided he needed something sooner. His previous pram, the mewa as pictured above was great for him to move on to from a standard pram/buggy but it still didn’t sit him in the perfect position. This fully supports his hips and the harness means he sits up in the most ideal way. He has taken to this change very well and as you can see, really loves it! Unfortunately it didn’t come with as much extras as his previous supportive pram but his comfort is priority, we have purchased a hood and rain cover separately ourselves.
Invacare Action Junior 3 wheelchair
Check out those wheels! Wilson has his first ever wheelchair and he really likes it. He would get called a baby in his supportive pram, mainly by young children who didn’t understand and Wilson didn’t like it, he would say to me “I’m not a baby!” So he likes that this makes him feel grown up. He can’t quite reach the wheels on this one to be able to push himself around so I’m still pushing him in this but he’s nice and comfy and we will look into getting him one in the near future that he can push himself to give him some more independence.
This seating system is very much like his squiggles chair but as that is now at nursery, he needed a new one for home! They didn’t have a squiggles available so this was offered to us. It took some time for Wilson to get used to, I think it’s because he has to wear the harness in this chair whereas the squiggles chair he no longer actually needs the harness due to the side supports. This chair doesn’t have that which is why the harness is needed. It has a very big table for him to do all his playing and eating on and can also be moved up and down as needed. It has wheels on the bottom making it easy to move him around the house too.
What a great piece of equipment this is! It’s like a little electric wheelchair but for young children (as young as 16 months!) this has given Wilson so much more independence which is amazing. In this picture, Wilson’s dad is using the joystick to push Wilson because we were in a car park but Wilson is extremely good at using it himself and his coordination skills with it are very impressive! We have taken this out with us but we do mainly use it at home, Wilson uses it as a chair and also to chase around his big sister!