The Daughter Chronicles

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mia's new chair!

You might not think a new chair is all that exciting, but you'd be so very, very wrong. Mia sits around a lot, so she needs a good chair that's comfortable, keeps her sitting up, and is movable. It needs to be big enough, too, as she's still growing (slowly but surely). She had a chair for probably 6-7 years prior to a few months ago, and we desperately needed a new one, as she was quickly outgrowing that one. Here she is in her old chair:

That last picture is part of the reason we needed a new chair. Not only was the chair getting too small, but Mia had abused it. She hates sitting back, because it stretches her hips (very marginally, but enough to annoy her), so she likes to sit leaning as far forward as she can. So she tends to lean or even lie down on the tray quite often, and the chair wasn't equipped to keep her head and torso back. All that leaning put a lot of stress on the tray, and eventually it snapped. We duct-taped it as well as we could, but it still wasn't too strong, and the Velcro that attached the tray to the chair was getting weaker and weaker. So we started looking for a new chair.

We wanted a chair that moves, obviously. We wanted one that could not only recline, but rotate. If the back reclined, that would be great, because then she would get a bigger stretch in her hips. But it would also allow her to slide her butt forward a bit on the seat, even if she had a pommel in the center to block her crotch. She would still be able to wriggle down a bit. So if we could recline the back and then tilt the seat backward, gravity would force her butt backward. We also needed a chair with a butterfly strap across the chest to keep her from leaning forward. Even if she was leaning back and tilted back, she'd find a way to lean forward. So we needed a strap. So we started looking.

It didn't take too long - chairs for special needs kids are fairly abundant - but we did have to go through a few to find everything we needed. Finally we decided on one, and we ordered it. It was, I should point out, $4400. No, that's not a misprint. Special needs stuff is spendy! But it got here, and we put that sucker together. Here it is:

You can see all the stuff in these photos, including the tilt to the seat in that third photograph. Here's Mia sitting in it:

The first one is just her sitting in the chair. You see the strap in the second picture, and in the third, we strap her foot because she tends to splay her leg outward to relieve the stretch on her hip. We want to keep her leg as straight as possible, so we strap her leg down. The seat doesn't lean backward or tilt backward quite as much as we'd like, but it's pretty good. She likes it, too - it's much higher than the old seat, so I think she feels more in charge. It's also easier to move than the old chair, which is nice. It takes up more space than the old chair, but that's a small price to pay.

It's always ... well, not exactly "fun," but nice, I suppose, to get new equipment for Mia. We're always trying to make her life as easy as possible, and the new chair does help quite a bit.