Developmental Planning: An Introduction for Parents
Emotional Minefield continued...
Considering the idea of adapted seating, a wheelchair or a stander can often be a major blow emotionally. Do your best to consider how to plan to adapt to your child’s current inability to sit unsupported by positioning him in a high chair with rolled kitchen towels when the therapist is present. Learn how he or she will respond to adapted or supportive seating. This is a hard thing to consider, but looking ahead and trying things will pay off.
Additionally, procurement of devices that are funded by traditional medical insurance can take 3-6 precious months or acquiring loaner resources or demo/trial equipment may take several weeks if there is a waiting list. You have to consider these time frames if you want to have the equipment or resources in place when you need it.
So what does this mean in practice? An assessment would occur as early as 6-7 months of age for a child that may have a need for an adapted or alternative solution for sitting if it is anticipated that they may not achieve that goal at 10-12 months of age. To gain the orthopedic benefits of a stander on developing hips and reap the spatial awareness, movement, and visual field orientation benefits that can be achieved in a supported, modified standing position you may choose to look at standing as early as 10-11 months so that the equipment will be at hand when you have the need for the device.
That seems too early to even think about this type of need, but if you want to have the tools you need when you need them, it is never too early to plan.
Using the “Developmental Planning” model to organize your thoughts, prepare your family, and accomplish the goals you set for your child is one of many effective approaches and tools that can help your precious one achieve the highest level of independence possible for them.
WebMD Feature from “Exceptional Parent” Magazine