Sunday, March 16, 2014

NDNorth: All About Chairs (Part 2)

Read Part 1 Here
In the first part, we realized the need for proper positioning chairs in the orphanage. Three children, each with varied needs and abilities, yet each with the same need to be upright and able to see the world around them.

Shan was the easier of the three. His development and alertness is lower than the girls, and really what he needed was something that would hold him safely upright. A few foam blocks and the cushioned positioning chair worked great. And, an added bonus was that the chair is tall enough to be pushed up to a table. This will come in handy when Shan begins to learn how to play on surfaces.

Xing was a bit more of a challenge, and we tried her out in quite a few different chairs before deciding on the old, lower-to-the-ground chair. She's tiny, and so for security and comfort's sake, some adaptations needed to be made. Out came the trusty bag of foam blocks (which were a donation from New Day just a few weeks earlier!)

But we had a problem... the foam blocks were too long. What to do... what to do... Oh yes! The workmen outside with a couple of make-shift table saws caught our attention. Liuyan, the Occupational Therapist, slipped outside to chat with them.

Could they do it? Probably. Would they? They weren't sure, but eventually we convinced them.

First they tested with a little yellow block that went flying as it came apart. Wow. The power of the saw was a little bit intimidating. I couldn't watch...

Finally, after swapping in a new saw blade so that they could cut through the orange foam block in one go, the men got to work. It took two of them to safely saw a rectangular orange block in half.

While the block was being sawed in two, Jenny and Zoe were busy at work taping together the rest of Xing's chair. Not only did the pieces need to be firmly in place, there also needed to be no bare spot of foam left unprotected from little picking fingers. You understand, right? Let's just say that we used a lot of tape. 

Taped securely and with the new foam blocks in place, Xing's chair was ready for take-off!

She was pretty pleased, and tested out her new hand splint too. We'll be honest... Xing did not like the hand splint at first, but she's now used to it and has been wearing it consistently for weeks!

Xuan's situation was the most difficult, due to her physical condition. However, a needle and thread, velcro strips, foam and tape and some determination brought us to a decent result. She's not physically able to sit for long periods of time, but is so, so proud of herself when she can. 

We're proud of you too, Xuan!

Jenny, Zoe, Liangqing and Liuyan and the rest of us at New Day North want to thank all of you for your support, enabling us to bring an extra bit of brightness into the lives of Shan, Xing and Xuan. 

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