Our small family - Mum, Stefanie; Dad, Oliver, and our daughter Annika "the Mouseberry" Gronau - lives in Bad Salzuflen, a beautiful small town in Germany.
After an uncomplicated pregnancy, our daughter surprised us with some special features when she was born in March 2012.
She was too small, had a very low birth weight, only two fingers on her right hand, a cleft palate, her right kidney didn't work and had a small hole in her heart.
Two weeks later she was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS), which is a rare genetic disorder.
She has feeding difficuites and is tube fed since birth, although she loves to taste food (especially sweet things like cookies or vanilla pudding). Later we found out that Annika is deaf and so she got hearing aids when she was five months old, and in her first winter she spent much time in hospital because of infections of the respiratory tract.
She develops slowly compared to other kids and there are still some more medical issues she has to deal with. But beside all that our Mouseberry is the most happy and powerful person you can imagine. She has a smile (or better, a really broad grin) that melts hearts - she really is the sunshine in our live! Generally she loves action for example being thrown into the air, being shaken and tickled, having many people around her and much more. I think she'll love to go on a roller coaster with her dad in a few years.
As our life is a little different from "normal" family life, we started to blog on www.annikas-blog.de. As we live in Germany, our blog is written in German, but there are tons of cute photos of our Mouseberry, so you might have a look!
Since Mouseberry Annika has just grown out of her portable baby car seat, we struggled with some new problems in our everyday life. We used the car seat for example when we went shopping or when we went out in a restaurant, we simply could click it out of the car and our daughter had a comfortable seat everywhere we went. As Annika is still a little lazy with sitting (her physiotherapist says she could do it if she wanted to), we were looking for an alternative seat.
So we were really curious when we discovered the GoTo Seat in an online forum for parents who have a child with special needs. We ordered the GoTo seat immediately (in pink of course!!!) and when it arrived, the Mouseberry took her seat, still in pyjamas, and then she played sitting in the seat on our sofa:
Some days later, the GoTo Seat had to undergo its first real test. At first we presented it to Annikas phsiotherapist, who was really enthusiastic about it:
Then we went to the supermarket where we placed the GoTo Seat into the small seat of the cart. Putting Annika in was a little difficult because of her cute chunky legs but when she whas in, she really enjoyed it!
As shopping is really exhausting, it was time for a litlle nap:
Also in the restaurant Annika is really happy in her GoTo Seat. She is sits at the table like a small adult, plays with the table cloth and smiles all the time:
Does your child have an autism diagnosis?