Mason has brought many new experiences to our family and today was another one. We’ve just started using HKAFOs and they require a parent right with him at all times to keep him from falling. Carving out a half hour or more a few times per day to do this in an already busy household is a challenge. My other little ones are certain to get into things when I’m busy helping Mason. And to be honest Mason wants to be upright a lot longer than we can make time for. Today his physical therapist brought a Rifton Dynamic Stander to try. Everyone enjoys standing time when nobody has to keep him from falling over and he can stand for longer periods of time this way. The process is simple. We strap on Mason’s HKAFOs first. Then we stand him on the platform for the stander and buckle a few pads around him to keep him there. As you can see from this side there is a tray attached to play with things. We can remove this to allow Mason to wheel up to a table, couch, or other play surface. Mason will also learn to use the wheelchair type wheels to propel himself where he wants to be, making him mobile in a standing position. (These wheels are removable and are a separate purchase when buying a dynamic stander – to the tune of an extra $900.00.)
Like anything there are benefits and drawbacks. While in his HKAFOs or the stander Mason cannot get anything that is on the floor or falls to the floor. He can’t bend over. He needs a fairly wide area to maneuver. But all the benefits I mentioned about standing in this post are doubled with the dynamic stander because he can now remain upright without assistance and can get around. Both of those perks mean that Mason can be upright for longer periods of time, which right now he is absolutely loving.
Mason is a bit short for this stander but close enough that he can still use it. It also adjusts in height for a while as he grows. We are borrowing this one for now through Help Me Grow. There is the possibility of purchasing one but they are expensive. A Rifton dynamic stander with the addition of the large wheels for Mason to self-propel in his size would cost us right around $3000.00. And he would outgrow it and need to move up to new, more expensive, sizes over time.
For now we will borrow this one and let Mason enjoy himself. In the future – who knows?!