Sunday, June 27, 2010
I spent the first year after Annie's brain injury feverishly--no, insanely--trying to do everything in my, and her therapists' power to return her to her pre-brain injured self. You know, the walking, talking, eating, singing, dancing Annie that we all knew and loved. The second year I calmed down somewhat and realized that her recovery might take longer than I had originally planned, and that this would require a large degree of patience on my part, and some adaptive equipment.
Practically, what this means is I need equipment that will help her access stuff--like the dining room table. Back in the 2nd year, I bought something called a Special Tomato Height Right chair, that is guaranteed to grow with your special needs kid until they're a teenager. Trouble is, the tray that goes on the thing is the size of a tomato--wonder where they got the name?--and Annie's arms dangle over it. And the foot rest is tucked under in such a way so that a child needs to bend their knees to rest their feet on the footrest. Well, Annie's legs and feet don't naturally bend, they dangle. Over the foot rest.
So I went back to navigating the black hole of online special needs equipment suppliers to look for the perfect high chair for my disabled 7 year old, because, shockingly, Babies R Us does not carry high chairs for 7 year old kids. And, of course, since there's no such thing as a typical special needs kid, a chair that will work for one kid, won't work for another. This means there may be 6 types of adaptive high chairs, each with 14 optional footrests, headrests, pads, straps, and abductors. The chairs all look orthopedic, usually take up the entire square footage of a standard dining room, and have a base price equal to the GNP of Lithuania.
In the next few weeks we're going to try out one of these chairs. I just hope it'll fit inside the front door.