Try to imagine not having the ability hold your body upright to support sitting. Where would you sit? What kind of options would you have? The answer? Very few, and nearly all with straps and supports to keep you in place.

Cole cannot sit independently. He’s had scads of different chairs, starting with high chairs, strollers, chairs that clipped onto tables or strap onto chairs, and his wheelchairs – all seating devices that have straps to hold him in place.

In order to sit on a couch, or bed, independently, he’s propped up and wedged into place with heaps of pillows surrounding and supporting him. He can often get lost in the mix, slipping down or sideways.

It wasn’t until a few years ago we ran across the magical Chill Chair at an abilities expo that featured products of all sorts designed to enhance the lives of those living with disabilities. The Chill Chair (it definitely deserves capitalization!) is the first chair that Cole could sit in without straps or any additional supports. It looks much like comfy upholstered chair with a ottoman attached, except that the seat has a little indent for his tush, and the chair back sort of hugs him. He can sit with his legs up (his preference), or without the ottoman, bent downward. It’s amazing. It’s among the single greatest things we ever purchased for Cole.

We actually have two at the moment. We started to feel that he was outgrowing the first chair, so made the purchase of a second, larger size one only to find it was too big. One’s not quite too small and the other is quite too big! The upgrade includes a table tray that can fold away or be used to hold his Tobii (eye-gaze voice output communication device), or a tablet for listening to music or books, or his tray of Sand or a game…or whatever…It’s definitely a cool, smart addition. He just needs to grow a little more to fit in the chair! I suspect this one will take him quite far once he does fit in it. He’s not likely to be very tall. The Chill Chair rocks.

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