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Kath’s assistive solutions

Over the years, TAD has provided several devices to Kath for her 10-year-old son Aiden, who has global developmental delay.

These included items adapted to suit Aiden, such as a standing frame, a side support chair and table, and a Freedom Wheels bike. When Kath wanted help with a change table for the bathroom, it was natural for her to ask TAD for assistance.

Volunteer John Griffiths spent some time discussing the problem with Kath. Her request was for a table which would cover most of the bath, but would be easy and light enough to remove and store. The first thought was to build a table with a Melamine top mounted on folding legs, which could be removed when the bath was to be used for bathing. In the end, the simplest solution proved to work beautifully – a sheet of 9mm MDF with rounded corners and a cut-out for the grab handle rail, painted white, which sits securely inside the rim of the bath.

“Kath found it fitted well and was very light,” John said. She has no problem sliding out the board and leaning it against a wall when anybody in the family wants a bath.

Aiden has had his side support chair and table set for several years. The side support chair is generally designed to provide well-supported long floor sitting for children up to primary school age, and has a chair with a winged back support and a height adjustable table.

However, Aiden still needs long periods of floor sitting to stretch his legs and loosen his leg muscles, which are tight as a result of his gait pattern. This version was therefore made larger than the standard size range to suit him, and has an extended seat base for comfort while sitting on the floor.

Aiden’s side support chair was made by Volunteer Ian McClelland. After Ian had carried out the woodwork, the TAD workshop made and installed cushions for the back and extended seat.

Aiden loves to be outside and his Freedom Wheels bike has given him great pleasure. The extra supports to suit his needs include two sets of support fins at hip and chest levels, large footcups and a 500mm tow handle. The standard wider seat and stabiliser wheels and a limiting block which restricts the front wheel from turning more than 30° in either direction also help keep Aiden safe.

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