It’s a win-win situation when you can combine having fun and increasing socialisation skills with enhanced muscle strength.
That’s certainly been the case for New South Wales five-year-old Ava Ryan, who recently received a Zing Multi Position Stander from the team at Dejay Medical.
Ava has a chromosomal deletion and GRIN2A – genetic conditions that have caused severe global development delay, hypermobility, and bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss.
Purchasing the Zing MPS TT stander from Dejay’s Easystand range has given Ava a new perspective both physically and socially, according to mum, Michelle, and dad, Josh.
It’s also been a leveller when it comes to spending time with her big brother Will, 7.
“Ava’s stander has helped her to be included in our family activities and because she is not working hard on standing, Ava can engage more with those around her,” Michelle says.
“When in the stander Ava loves to have squigz (tiny suction toys to develop motor and sensory skills) stuck all over the tray to pull off and throw – she also loves playing “peek-a-boo” with different pieces of fabric over items or people’s faces.
“Ava also loves watching her brother dance and sing while in her standing frame – she thinks he is very funny!”
The stander allows Ava to stand in the correct position for longer periods with her hands free to play.
“This helps Ava work on standing and play skills at the same time. Being at eye level helps Ava work on social and communication skills with less body fatigue.”
While Ava can pull herself up to a standing position and use furniture to support her movements, she locks her joints as a result of her hypermobility.
“This doesn’t enable her leg muscles to develop the strength they need to allow Ava to stand independently without holding on to something. The standing frame enables us to put Ava in a position she loves whilst not locking out her knees and ankles – this means she is having fun and strengthening her muscles at the same time!”
Ava uses the stander every day at home, typically in the lounge room where she’s being encouraged to watch more television – a problem many parents don’t have!
“She is at the perfect height for watching TV! I know this is not something we would usually want kids to do more of, but Ava doesn’t have much interest in TV yet and we think it would be a great tool to improve her concentration and give mum and dad a break for a few minutes!”
Ava attends preschool two days per week but is reliant on her family and support network for all aspects of her care and has a “fabulous” team of therapists that support her.
“Ava loves being around familiar people and being outside. Her favourite things to do are visiting the park to go on the swing and slide and going to Frame Running in Wollongong on a Monday night,” Michelle says.
Ava’s family highly recommend the Zing stander and the support they received from Dejay Medical – long time supporters of new and innovative ways to promote active inclusion by providing specialised wheelchairs and supports, handcrafted in New South Wales.
Easystand Standers provide a broad range of solutions to meet each person’s goals with each model tailored to every customer’s unique personal needs.
The Zing range of standers are the only multi-position stander that pivots two directions, allowing the unit to go from flat-to-load supine to 20 degrees prone in one motion. There is no need to transfer the user in and out, flip pads, foot plates and trays. This ability provides a therapeutic opportunity not possible with other standing frames.
The Zing MPS TT – as used by Ava also features the tilt-table style padding with easy-to-use positioning straps included on the knees and hips.
But Ava’s story best sums up the benefits of a Zing stander.
“Our main goal for Ava is for her to be happy. Ava loves to move around and explore and loves being around familiar people, she is a very social little girl,” Michelle says.
“We want to help Ava to be able to navigate her environment more easily, by standing to see people around her and engaging with them and by being able to move around more easily.”