Special seat brings family together

By Indi Fillery

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

2-year-old Nate Shaffer has a new view of the world and is spending more quality time with his family thanks to a specialised corner seat courtesy of Telethon.

Nate has Trisomy 18 which affects his development, making him a size similar to that of a 6 month-old. The condition also causes muscle weakness, making it difficult for him to sit upright on his own.

Nate and his big brother Caden

Pictured: Nate (R) and his brother Caden (L)

Nate’s Physiotherapist, Su Lin Ng, suggested the family trial a corner seat with pelvic and chest straps to give Nate the stability he needs when sitting. Su Lin said the chair allows Nate to focus on using his hands to play and develop his gross motor skills.

“Being able to sit is a necessity for a 1-year-old. It’s essential to everyday play and interaction with the world around them. Nate’s older brother Caden can now play with Nate on the floor, without relying on mum to assist by holding Nate upright,” Su Lin said.

Thanks to generous support from Telethon, a Jenx corner seat and nursery table was purchased for Nate and his family. And according to Nate’s mum Sam, great progress is being made.

“Before we received the seat, Nate would spend the majority of his time lying on his back. The chair has given him a different perspective of his environment and allows him to interact with us and his therapists,” Sam said.

“We’ve also seen Nate’s core strength and balance develop so that he can now sit for very short moments unassisted – something we never thought possible! We are so proud of how far Nate has come and he is definitely our shining star.”

As a beneficiary of Telethon, Therapy Focus receives generous funding to assist children with disabilities. For more information visit telethon7.com.

Tune in to Channel 7 during the Telethon weekend in October to see Nate and his corner seat in action!

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