Monday, October 12, 2015

The NEW GoTo Seat Floor Sitter by Firefly‏

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Noah has been playing around with the new GoTo Seat Floor Sitter by Firefly.   It's given me a chance to test it out and see what this product is really all about.  Certainly, the world has been waiting for news of a new design after the first two models, and were anxiously awaiting new options and supports.   The new model has really three obvious new features.  Bigger and stronger lateral supports,  the option of two different headrests, and last but not least, an optional floor sitter base.   The question on everyone's mind is how does it stack up against the first two designs versions by Firefly?  And does it really have the supports required for children with low, to fluctuating tone, to extreme high tone, and will it suit children who are lacking in head, neck and overall trunk control? 
The Evolution of the GoTo Seat by Firefly
Noah, as many know, is a severely disabled child.  At just two months shy of his seventh birthday he is unable to sit, walk, talk, crawl or self-feed.  And without postural support and help can only lay and roll on the floor.   Noah also lacks independent head, neck and trunk control and requires generally the most extensive supports possible.   His tone has a tendency to fluctuate where he can be floppy to carry or hold, but is very strong when he gets excited, mad, or is attempting to accomplish a task you'll see such high tone that it often makes holding him very hard, as he can make his body hard, rigid and incredibly stiff which can throw a caregiver off balance if they aren't aware that he has such high tone tendencies.  
So is the new GoTo Seat Floor Sitter suitable for a child like Noah?  And the answer is hands down, yes.   The new GoTo Seat ranges in ages 1-3 for a size 1 and ages 3-8 for the size 2.  The size 1 can accommodate children in weight to about 33lbs (15kg) and the size 2 can accommodate children up to about 66lbs (30kg).  It has two headrest options.  One is a more "advanced" accessory which is a contoured design that cradles a child's head that has the need for more head support, and a "standard" headrest that is still supportive but is a little bit less plush.  The most noticeably new feature is the floor sitter base.  It is an additional optional accessory that can be ordered alongside the New GoTo Seat.   The sitter base retails for $100.  And the seat regardless of the headrest that you desire retails for $375 for the size 1 and $469 for the size 2.   Still making it a low to moderate priced piece of adaptive equipment and staying with Firefly's price point mission to be able to provide these products to families without insurance codes and eliminating third party distributors and DME's.  Shipping also continues to be FREE! And it comes with a 1 year warranty, and a 42 day return policy which makes the product really risk-free should it for any reason not be an excellent match for your child's needs. 
You can see a video of Noah in the New GoTo Seat Floor Sitter here:  (You can also watch a full frame on Youtube by clicking on the title of the video.)

The New GoTo Seat is a bit like the other two designs in which it can be mounted to a chair, to a child's wagon, play car, or any other seated flat surface.  It does have some new elements such as thicker and more supportive side laterals that I think offer a child a higher level of comfort.   The headrest designs have certainly improved and are more suited for a wide range of children and needs.  Even with Noah's lack of head control, I do not need to correct his head when he's using it.  Turn knobs allow for easy adjustments in the back.  I only had minor difficulty with a turn knob and that was the lateral knob.  If you turn it too far it has a short screw which causes you to fish for the connector which is in the seam of center of the fabric.  It's easy to get to, but you do have to work at it a little bit to get it back into place.  Something that isn't a significant problem, but something to be aware of in case you unscrew it too far and need to put it back together again like I did. 
I'm not big on instruction booklets.  I'm not big on instructions on general.  They stress me out.  Build-it-yourself furniture even makes my head want to explode.  But thankfully the GoTo Seat manual is easy to follow and has great pictures to follow along with for set up steps since I'm a person who likes to bypass reading and just likes visual demonstrations.  For those of you unlike me who love to read instructions, they are written clear and detailed.  The floor sitter piece looks a bit more intimidating on first glance than it really is.  And someone without an instruction booklet I'm confident could set it up fairly fast. 

Of course in true Firefly style it arrives in a really pretty box, which makes you feel like you just gifted your child with something super fun and playful.  A lot of people are probably going to ask me what do you wish that was different about the New GoTo Seat or how could it be better.  I'd say I am kind of missing a carry bag or storage bag for it.  I'd like to take it to Grandma's house but I'd have to find a bag or a trash bag to carry it in to keep it clean while traveling in the car or to and from various places.  A really minor wish, and I just happen to love bags that have the Firefly logo on it for transporting and storing equipment to keep it clean.  I'm still trying to decide if I'd ever want more of a recline than a 10 or 20 percent option, I think the two it has will work well for most children.

Originally I thought I'd be disappointed with the advanced headrest, but I'm pleasantly surprised for it not being a headrest that is aggressive like the i2i headrest I think the advanced headrest does incredibly well.  I haven't had to correct Noah's head position not once when he's used it.   I love the room for growth.  Noah is smaller as some children with neurological conditions can sometimes be, but it has great growth potential for children that are older and larger than Noah.  I'm not so certain that the size 2 would be a great match for a traditional grocery cart, the size 1 would fit well and easily.   Really the problem would be getting long legs of an older child into a grocery cart more than anything. 
I like how the bottom material is really durable, it's a strong vinyl type of black material that makes sure the product does not slip.  I am not sure how well it will hold up in the washer, but I think providing it didn't hit the dryer it may do just fine.  And honestly I'm not even a bit worried as Firefly makes durable products and everything I have laundered so far has done really well.
Noah hanging out watching TV
Most importantly Noah seems to love it and thoroughly enjoys being in it.  We often leave it on the floor sitter base in the living room and he'll roll to it signaling he wishes to be put into it.  And that's really the most important part.  Us parents can sit back and sometimes review a piece of equipment but in the end how does our child really do in it?  And are they happy, comfortable and enjoying it.  And all of those factors get good check marks from Noah.  Overall, I think families and children will be pleased with the product.  Out of all three GoTo designs this one is my favorite.

I can still see a many children benefiting from this new design and I think it will make so many children with special needs incredibly happy this holiday season.  So make sure you tell family and friends this one should be on your wishlist. I have a feeling this new design will promote even more family participation opportunities and I can't wait for new fun floor activities to continue in the days ahead for Noah.   To learn more about the NEW GoTo Seat by Firefly click here.

Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.