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Archive for August 2013

This is My Child: The Trabasack Story

This is My Child: The Trabasack Story

mumsnet: new campaign logo

mumsnet: new campaign logo

Mumsnet has launched a timely and important campaign which we felt we needed to get involved with. In their own words:

This Is My Child is a myth-busting and awareness-raising campaign, launched in response to requests from our members and supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field.

This is My Child wants to support the parents of children living with additional needs and start conversation about living and coping with children with disabilities of all kinds. It’s a well-known fact that our product was launched and inspired by the parents of a child with additional needs and this campaign applies to us as many thousands of others out there.

Trabasack Inspiration: Joe

Behind the scenes at Trabasack and inspiring the invention in the first place is Joe. Joe is the son of Trabasack founders Clare and

Young boy takes part in sensory play using a Trabasack bag

Joe aged four with one of the first Trabasacks

Duncan Edwards and lives with the epileptic condition Dravet Syndrome and a SCN1a deletion which is linked to the condition. Joe received his diagnosis aged just four.

Dravet Syndrome life limiting, genetic condition that causes severe epilepsy, learning disability and global developmental delay in childhood. The seizures are usually hard to treat and do not respond well to epileptic drugs. You read more about the condition here.

Dravet Syndrome means Joe is non-verbal and needs support in most daily tasks and the condition is not one well-known across the UK and even the world. The Trabasack team always make the effort to attend the National Dravet Conference to find out more about developments in research and treatment for the condition.

Joe is a wheelchair user and through the determination of his parents, he is happy and content and always learning and experiencing new sensory things. This is helped through the use of his Trabasack, invented by his mum to make accessing toys, games and multimedia much easier.

The Invention of Trabasack

Joe (centre) was on the ketogentic diet for 5 yrs - also pictured Clare Edwards (Trabasack creator), Victor Edwards, Joe's brother

Joe (centre) was on the ketogentic diet for 5 yrs – also pictured Clare Edwards (Trabasack creator), Victor Edwards, Joe’s brother

Living with Dravet Syndrome means Joe has always had seizures and traditional buggy and wheelchair tray designs proved dangerous in the early days. Bulky and hard to remove his parents worried about him hurting himself when seizing when the tray was in place. His mum Clare then began creating.

The original design was simply a soft bean bag cushion with a tray on top so Joe could easily access his toys and games. The original design was a complete success but then the problem came of sticking things to the tray. Initially Velcro tape was used but this got dirty and messy quickly so the Trabasack team once again got their heads together and found a material which was Velcro receptive without getting filthy.

The tray developed its curved shape to fit to Joe’s body and it meant his arms could sit comfortably on top of the tray when using the toys and games. This product idea was honed and refined to create the Trabasack Curve – a product which hundreds of people living with disabilities around the world rely on.

The Trabasack can be used for many purposes, as a mount for media devices, a platform for communicative switches and simply as a handy writing surface when you’re out and about. We’re fiercely proud of our product and are pleased it’s helpful for so many people around the world and are equally proud of the boy who inspired it!

Visit other stories below:

We’re happy to share our support for the This Is My Child Campaign and would love to hear your stories too.

Sensory Play Ideas for Children with Disabilities

Sensory Play Ideas for Children with Disabilities

Sensory play is all about your imagination. The possibilities can be endless when you’re finding new ways to introduce sensory play time but if you’re looking for new ideas we’ve got plenty of them. Previously we’ve looked at gloops, water and ice and even homemade toys and today we’ve got some more ingenious sensory play ideas.

Frozen Finger-paints

Sensory Play Ideas: Frozen Finger Paints

Fun Finger Paints

Create frozen art with simple but effective frozen paints. This idea is perfect for summer.

You will need:

  • Small pots (yoghurt pots or similar)
  • Shaving Foam
  • Food Colouring
  • Glitter

Squirt shaving foam into each of your pots until it’s two thirds full. Add some food colours and mix well and add in your glitter last. Put the pots in the freezer. When you’re ready to play bring out the pots and let them defrost for 5 minutes or so – this makes painting easier. Use them to create fantastic art work and fun paintings.


Stretchy Slime Balls

For children who love to experience different textures and wouldn’t mind a dip in the classic children’s telly gunge. Pull it and stretch it in any direction!

You will need:

  • A bottle of glitter glue
  • 120ml of boiling water
  • Tablespoon of corn flour
  • A small amount of cold water

Mix together the flour and cold eater to make a paste. Measure 120ml of boiled water into a jug and add in the corn flour paste. Let it cool. Once cool empty he whole tube of glitter glue into a bowl and add the water. Mix with your hands (let the little ones help) until the stretchy slime feels right. Mould into a ball and if you store in a ziplock bag it will last a whole week.

Rainbow Ice Play

Sensory Play Ideas: Rainbow Ice Play

Fun Ice Moulds

A fantastic combination of touch and visual play. This sensory play idea gives you the chance to play with ice and water, with a difference.

You will need:

  • Ice cube trays
  • Poster paint or food colouring
  • PVA Glue or Flour (optional)
  • Water tray or box
  • Trabasack

Fill your ice cube tray with a few drops of paint or food colouring to brighten them up. For opaque cubes add in PVA glue or flour too. Once they’re frozen get out your Trabasack (don’t forget your non-slip waterproof mat) and pop your water tray or box on top. Simple and fun you can plop the rainbow cubes into the water and watch the colours mix. You can also choose a fun-shaped ice cube mould for make it even more fun.

Mouldable Fluff

If messy play is the name of the game then this sensory experiment will have everyone in stitches and completely covered in fluff!

You will need:

  • Large bag of corn flour
  • 200ml can of shaving foam
  • Powder Paint
  • Mixing Bowl

Empty the full bag of corn flour into the mixing bowl and mix in the shaving foam a bit at a time. This will make a rough but textures mouldable fluff. If you choose a scented shaving foam you can add another sensory element. For a bit more excitement add a tablespoon of any powder paint for a splash of colour.

Sensory Balloons

Sensory Play Ideas: Sensory Balloons

Colourful Balloons

Balloons without the bang, well some of the time at least. Balloons are a great sensory play idea as they can be filled with absolutely anything.

You will need:

  • Some coloured balloons
  • A range of fillings – rice, talcum powder, flower, water and shower gel are fun
  • A funnel

Put your balloon nozzle over the funnel and choose your first filling, then add your second and then your third. You can combine a range of filling in one balloons and mix and match in others to give a fantastic tactile sensory experience. Your shower gel and talc balloons will also be fantastically smelly.


Sensory play is always fun and the more ideas you can incorporate the better. Try out some of our new ideas and if you have any other please comment below and let us know.

Photo credits:
1 –  Attribution Some rights reserved by LearningLark
2 –  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by #Justin
3 – Attribution Some rights reserved by Accretion Disc