A note from Austin:
Since our mission is to provide free height adjustable chairs to children in feeding therapy, we rarely talk about the importance of improved seating for children who don’t struggle at mealtime. Recently, Dilek, our dear friend and member of Charlotte’s Day Board of Directors, purchased a Tripp Trapp for her son. She texted with questions about assembly and positioning, but then those texts quickly turned to excitement when she saw Evan at the table. She texted, “I also realized that he wanted to eat and enjoy mealtime but that it was so awkward for him”. Dilek learned what many of us had to learn from therapy professionals- that supportive seating can help with so many aspects of mealtime and they aren’t just designed for picky eaters or problem feeders.
A guest post from Charlotte’s Day board member Dilek Eccles:
“I've always felt very fortunate to have children for whom eating is a pleasant experience. My oldest son has grown up with Charlotte, so I have seen how having a child with sensory and oral motor issues tied with food can create challenges for the entire family. I have always admired Austin and Kari and all the work they have done as a team to ensure Charlotte has the tools she needs to grow, literally and figuratively.
When your children eat most foods, you assume mealtimes will be easy. Yet with my youngest, Evan, things started getting difficult as he got a bit older. Here he was, three years old--nearly four--and I found we were struggling. A kid who enjoys food and also has a good attention span was suddenly unable to sit through most meals.
For months I watched in frustration as I sensed mealtime getting more challenging. Then, one day, it hit me as I looked at Evan's posture in his booster and I saw how slouched he was. By this point, I had been helping with Charlotte's Day for a while and knew how critical good posture was to children who needed an extra hand when it came to mealtime and eating. For some reason, though, I never thought about the fact good posture benefits EVERYONE.
Even though Evan was almost four, I knew the best thing was to order a high chair. This is how we became a Stokke Tripp Trapp family.
When the box arrived, Evan was SO excited for his new chair. When I saw him sit in the first time, I was shocked by the difference. He was able to sit upright at the table, and was level with his food.
Since his chair arrived, Evan has sat down for meals and no longer struggles to stay with us long enough to both eat his meal and have us eat ours. It's been a complete game-changer.
I'm so thankful that we were able to purchase a Tripp Trapp, as it's brought peace back to our table and restored mealtime to family time. Seeing the difference this one change has made solidifies in my mind just how important the work of Charlotte's Day is. So many families cannot afford a new Tripp Trapp, yet it can make a huge difference. With the help of Charlotte's Day, families who need chairs can receive them--and for that, I am also thankful. “
If you would like to read more about postural stability and the importance of seating at mealtime please see the links below. Both of these blogs dig in depth to this issue including other solutions beyond purchasing a new chair.