A couple of months ago we were given an innovative new portable seat to trial by Leckey called the Firefly GoTo Seat size 1. Those of you that have children with additional needs like me will no doubt already be familiar with Leckey as a company that provides specialist equipment.
The aim of Firefly is to provide an affordable range of special needs family participation products direct to parents with the price range of £100-£300. The GoTo Seat is the first product to be launched and is available now priced at £135.
J was born with low muscle tone which has impacted on his physical development – he first sat unaided at the age of 13 months, crawled at 18 months, now at three and a half years old is still not walking unaided though he has physically developed hugely over the last year; things are taking much longer.
I have struggled particularly with seating for J from a very young age. He used to always flop to one side. We didn’t have an Occupational Therapist until he was nearly two and a half.
I must say what a difference she has made to our lives in sorting out equipment for J. We have a Leckey Squiggles Seat at home which he sits in beautifully at the table.
Giving him full support , proprioceptive feedback he is able to focus on things rather than trying to work out where he is in terms of where his body ends. That will sound confusing no doubt to those that don’t understand proprioception but basically it is your own body awareness.
Anyway back to this travel chair we have been trying out. I am going to share the Firefly video with you here because it explains so well how it can be used and what a difference it has made to the children that have already been lucky enough to give it a go.
The seat gives really good postural support. The back is firm plastic and with the five point harness it really does give excellent support. We have been able to use this in normal chairs that allow J to be sat nicely tucked in at the table.
There are two straps that can go around the back of the chair and one that goes on the underside of the chair thereby making it really safe with no chance of slipping off.
The cover and straps are machine washable, making this a really versatile piece of kit in my opinion. Some people might prefer waterproof fabric on the the seat, personally though I like the fact that it is nice soft fabric making it more comfortable to sit in. It is no bother to chuck it in the washing machine at the end of the day.
We also managed to tuck it into the back of our buggy too. The GOTO seat retails at £135 and I really do think it’s worth the money. It has been made with the charity Cerebra with 7% of sales going to them.
If you have watched the video you will also have seen that these can be put into supermarket trolleys too, which will allow so many children the opportunity to go shopping with mum and dad that perhaps didn’t exist before.
The only thing I would like to see with it would be the addition of a lightweight waterproof carry bag with an across body strap on it and carry handles to make it even easier to carry around.
Finally on our trip up north, we used the seat with a Tripp Trapp chair when J was having an assessment done.
We found that the straps that go around the back of the chair were just a little bit too small so had to improvise to get it to fit, so perhaps the option of being able to clip in and extra bit of strap would be a good idea. The seat was still safe for J to sit in on the chair though.
So to sum up my feelings – I think this chair is actually going to be revolutionary for so many children. It is really versatile and has the ability to open up the world more for children that have difficulties with seating.
The fact it can strap onto a normal chair allowing the child to be right up at the table with the rest of the family without bulky bits of kit is great. For £125 I think it is worth every penny.
SInce J also has sensory seeking behaviour the five point harness is also excellent and giving him a good hug so to speak and keeping him calm.
So almost top marks from us for this. A couple of tweaks and then it will tick all the boxes. Thank you so much to Leckey for giving us the opportunity to try this out.
Have you received a grant to purchase equipment for your child?