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Archer’s standing frame

Archer is two years old and has Lissencephaly, a rare brain malformation. As a result Archer can’t stand or hold himself upright.

This means he spends a lot of time sitting or lying down and the muscles in his legs don’t get the exercise they need. Archer’s Physiotherapist decided it was time to try a standing frame.

TAD has a range of standing frames that are easy to order simply by supplying the dimensions required. However sometimes children like Archer need extra elements to make the frame more precisely fit their needs.

Since Archer can’t hold his head upright, he needed a headrest to cradle his head while he stands in the frame.

Two volunteers took on the project. Retired army engineer John Salter built a standard Standing Frame. This is primarily a wooden frame with a body and head support backing made of mesh fabric. It has height adjustable body strap, leg straps and a tray so the child has a surface to play or eat from. John carefully cut and prepared the wood and assembled the frame to suit Archer’s size.

Volunteer Alan Stone took up the second part of the task to create the headrest for Archer. Alan made two wedge shaped pieces with a curved finish on the edges out of closed cell foam, then finished with some expanding foam in the centre. The headrest was upholstered and attached to the frame.

For Archer’s mum Lisa, the frame has been very useful.

“As well as giving him the physiotherapy he needs and helping his hips develop better, it helps his digestive system too. Having the headrest helps, the fact that it’s adjustable is fantastic as sometimes he prefers to rest his head on his hands and this gives him the flexibility to do that. He can last for about 30 minutes in the frame which is a real improvement.”

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TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.