Thursday, November 5, 2015

Firefly GoTo Seat

Remember the UpSee and the PlayPak that I’ve raved about from our friends at Firefly? Well they’re at it again with another fantastic product! I introduce to you the new and improved GoTo Seat!

I will start by saying that just like their other products, the craftsmanship is beautiful. They chose durable, comfortable fabric, and attention to detail is clearly paid on everything from the strength of the seams and fasteners, to the ease of assembly. They've made it really easy to remove components for washing, and all of the straps, lateral supports, and head support are adjustable. 

The chair comes in colour choices of pink/purple, bright blue/dark blue, or yellow/orange, and two sizes. Additionally it comes with a choice of standard or advanced head rest, depending on the amount of head support needed.

The chair itself is multi-purpose and can be used outside of the home – in my opinion one of the greatest features for us special needs parents who always seem to have our arms full of equipment! It can be used either strapped on a regular dining chair to allow your child to sit and eat or play at a table, or in the seat compartment of a shopping cart for those kids who can't sit safely without toppling over while shopping. I wish this existed when Asher was a wee one who could still fit in the cart - you have no idea how hard it is to shop with a toddler who can't sit and this could have made that so much easier!

Additionally, a floor attachment with two tilt options can be purchased to safely allow the child to sit independently and play on the floor. If you’re looking for an easy way to have your child supported while long-sitting and giving their legs a natural stretch, this is what you’re looking for! They're safe, and supported, allowing for independent play.

This chair is fantastic. It has some really great features, and is made by a company I completely stand behind and support. However…

You know that awkward breakup line where you say “It’s not you…it’s me”, but you don't actually mean it, you're just letting the other person down easily? Well this time I’m saying it, and unfortunately I mean it. 

“GoTo Seat - it’s not you, it’s Asher”. 

Sigh. I wish this wasn't the case. This lovely chair that I had such high hopes for just doesn’t work for Asher. I’d be remiss if I wasn’t honest, so here’s why:

Strapped to a chair – I really hoped for this one as an alternative to sitting in his wheelchair all the time at the table. He asked a while back to sit in a regular chair, so I’d hoped this was an option. Unfortunately though, Asher has come to rely heavily on having his feet strapped down in his wheelchair because when his tone kicks in his legs really become involved. So Asher sat comfortably for a few minutes but then when he started working too hard he repeatedly knocked his knees on the table when his legs started moving uncontrollably. Ouch! Darn fluctuating tone. Doesn’t he look cute though?! You can see how comfy he is when he's actually "just sitting there".

Then we tried it seated on the floor – I had hopes for this one too. Asher doesn’t spend a ton of time playing on the floor, but when he does he’s either in his childrite chair, which he topples out of on occasion, or his playpak, which I need to be near for support. I had hoped the GoTo Seat would allow him to play safely strapped in. Asher at his active and inquisitive age, however, felt too strapped in. I realized that the upside to him being able to fall out of his childrite chair is that he’s also able to lean way out of it and move himself around a lot – something he really enjoys and a reason why he rarely wears his chest straps in his wheelchair either. Although chest straps in any chair could benefit Asher, he really doesn't like wearing them. So seated on the floor was a no-go too.

So ya, that’s the bad news. This wonderful, well made, super safe and supportive chair doesn’t work for Asher. If he were younger, I would’ve tried harder to make it work, but now that he is a big 6 year old man with his own opinions about what he likes, I really need to respect his opinion. For him, this chair wasn't quite it. But oh did I want it to work out!

BUT, never fear - this story has a happy ending! Because even though the chair may not work for Asher, I can pretty much guarantee that it will work for other kids. And you know how I’m going to test that theory? I’m going to donate this beautiful chair to our early intervention therapy team and their equipment loan library. That means multiple other children and families can benefit from trying out this chair, and if it works, even consider purchasing one of their own. I am so happy to be able to share this wonderful chair with multiple other therapists and families that I know will make good use of it. I know from seeing it firsthand what a life changing piece of equipment this could be for many families.

If you think this chair might be a good fit for your child, please, check it out here. And a big thanks to Firefly for trusting Asher's and my opinions of your products!

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