With the help of a Community Living and Participation Grant, mealtimes have been transformed in the Fredricks household now that three-year-old Taj can join his family at the table.
Taj, who has cerebral palsy, can now eat his meals sitting up in his new Rifton Activity Chair, which has been funded by the CLPG program, instead of his stroller or on the floor.
As Taj grew, his mother Danica was finding it increasingly difficult to transfer him in and out of his stroller at home. A mealtime assessment by Taj’s speech pathologist found he was able to eat modified pureed food but required good pelvic, trunk and head support to ensure safe swallowing.
After trialling a Rifton Activity Chair through the Independent Living Centre, Danica applied for a mobility seat through the National Disability Insurance Scheme but was rejected as it did not meet the ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria.
The family discovered the CLPG, which provides grants up to $10,000 for customised solutions that support people with disability to participate in family and community life. People with disability can apply for equipment, resources, activities and projects connected to their particular social and recreational goals.
Danica said the new seat had made the world of difference to mealtimes and lessened the physical strain of transitioning Taj in and out of his stroller.
“Before we were feeding him while he was strapped in his pram which was really hard as it didn’t provide enough postural support. This is perfect, it has so much support and can be adjusted as he grows. Now Taj can be involved with the family at mealtimes and he loves it.”