When people think of special needs equipment they think of the big things... wheelchairs, walkers, standers... but rarely do people give much thought to all the accessories that comes along with all these types of equipment. There is really so much to chose from these days, and it all really depends on what each child's individual needs are.
Noah falls into a category of needing lots of forms of additional supports and is a comfort-seeking child due to his sensory challenges. And you guessed it, all this of course means extra dollars, but it also means that I'm always on the hunt for awesome products that would better assist Noah with his already acquired pieces of adaptive equipment.
I was excited to learn earlier this year of a new harness and bib series that Leckey was working on, called Leeway. Deep down I had hoped that this line would be a division of the Firefly line, simply because it would make obtaining these accessories tremendously easier than having to go through a third-party distributor and local DME. I cannot even begin to express how much of a pain in the ass it is to deal with these third parties. First, third-party customer service leaves a lot to be desired and when you are finally able to reach someone they point the finger back to the original manufacturer and tell you they can't help you anyway. Not to mention the price hike they tack on to any piece of equipment you're seeking leaves you really in a position with most of it being impossible to obtain without insurance coverage.
But, thankfully Leckey comes with the reputation of having one of the top customer service departments that I've ever had the pleasure of working with. When Ottobock refused to acknowledge that they were a distributor of the new Leeway line, Leckey stepped in and allowed me to place an order directly with them. It will take some time to receive the harness, but I know it will be completely worth the wait. I think eventually Ottobock will get a clue that they are a indeed a distributor of this line, and I think if you're in the market for a whole new adaptive seating chair that asking for these accessories to go along with it right out of the gate will be key.
The Leeway bibs we've been using for a couple months now. We love them. Now days, everyone and their grandmother are making bibs. Some are really great, others are so so, and some I could probably make better with a washrag and some string. I happen to really prefer the Leeway line to some of the other ones we have tried because they are lined with a really soft fleece-like fabric, many other styles we've tried are basically a terrycloth and a bit scratchy for Noah's sensitivities. For us I really like their bright solid colors. They match Noah's Mygo Leckey seat perfectly and we use them primary at home during meal times. However, other parents may gravitate towards themed-style bibs that display their child's personal preferences and likes. I'm more a neutral kind of person and solid colors for us are easier to match to clothing.
The bibs couldn't have come at a better time. Noah has decided that he no longer wants a baby bottle before bed, and has demanded we convert him to a medical cup. He's been doing fantastic with it, and its just his way of telling us he's growing up and obtaining more skills at the same time. Noah has already had a bath before he wants his evening juice cup, so these bibs have been lifesavers in absorbing any juice that Noah dribbles out. His clothes remain completely dry, and he's still ready for bed afterwards.
|Noah having lunch in his Leeway Bib|
|The Dragon Harness|
I wish all his adaptive equipment had these cute personal touches. I hope it's a growing trend that is here to stay. It is neat to see a hint of something happy put into these pieces of equipment. Hats off to all the great ideas that are going into all these new and future accessories. It's nice to feel like we have choices in styles and looks all the while offering our children the support, security and comfort they need.
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.