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Congratulations Ann Maxwell Winner Tesco Charity Mum of the Year

Congratulations Ann Maxwell Has Won the Tesco Charity Mum of the Year

Dravet Syndrome Mum Wins Award

MMT Epilepsy Charity

The Muir Maxwell Trust

We’re extremely pleased to announce that Ann Maxwell, founder of the Muir Maxwell Trust, a paediatric epilepsy charity, won for the Mum of the Year Competition 2013. She will be honoured at London’s Savoy Hotel on March 3. The event will be shown on Channel 5 on Mother’s Day a week later. The Trust is named after Ann’s son Muir who lives with Dravet Syndrome and as the husband and wife team who are at the core of the Trabasack team have a son with the same condition, it is obviously an issue close to our hearts.

Ann Maxwell with son, Muir Maxwell who has dravet syndrome

Ann with son, Muir. Photo Credit: STV

Charity Mum of the Year

The Mum of the Year Award is sponsored by Tesco and looks to find the most inspirational and amazing mums out there. There are just 35 shortlisted women, after over 2000 nominations and we’re especially pleased that Ann has won as her work for childhood epilepsy raises awareness of a range of conditions that many know very little about. Ann found herself nominated as her work in fundraising has secured over £8 million in funding into further research and information about paediatric epilepsy and committed £1 million to the construction of specialist research building at the University of Edinburgh.

The Muir Maxwell Trust

The Muir Maxwell Trust (MMT) was set up when Ann’s son Muir was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome or severe myoclonic epilepsy. The condition has meant Muir has had seizures throughout his life and this has resulted in speech and developmental difficulties too. Muir is now 15 and via the MMT website you can read Ann’s blog where lots of info and updates regarding Muir’s progress are recorded as well as tons of useful information about paediatric epilepsy and seizures.

MMT aims to provide children with epilepsy and their parents/carers with practical support and in many cases, helping to speed up what can be an extremely slow diagnosis process.

Big Congratulations Ann!

The work Ann and MMT do makes a huge difference to many families and with more than 70,000 children living with epilepsy in the UK, the work is desperately needed. All of us at Trabasack wish you biggest congratulations on winning, which is thoroughly deserved and will help raise the profile of Dravet Syndrome and severe epilepsy in children. It is fantastic news.

Dravet Syndrome Conference Young boy takes part in sensory play using a Trabasack bag

Pictured is Joe the son of the Trabasack founders who was the inspiration Trabasack and who also has Dravet Syndrome.

for people interested in Dravet Syndrome and the latest research, a recent Conference report can be found here.

Ann Awarded her Prize and featured on Channel 5

Charity mum of the year Ann Maxwell

Ann Maxwell, photo credit Channel 5

Many Dravet families proudly watched Ann looking fabulous as she received her Tesco Charity Mum of the Year award on Channel 5. As one mum said “A much deserved award and great that you took every opportunity to tell the listeners about Dravet syndrome and how it affects our children and young people. Well done and thank you!”

 

When Ann’s youngest son, Muir, was finally diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome (a rare form of epilepsy that causes profound learning difficulties, behaviour problems and severe developmental delay) she discovered there was a lack of support available. Ann, 50, from Dalkeith, Midlothian, pledged to help other families get the diagnosis and care they needed.

‘I’d spent a fair amount of time mourning the loss of the perfect child I thought I’d given birth to,’ says Ann. ‘Learning about Muir’s condition was an awakening. He began having seizures when he was four months old and I noticed his language regressing as a toddler, but the medical profession didn’t acknowledge he had special needs until he was three or four years old. After a clinical diagnosis they speculated that he had epilepsy but we didn’t get results from the genetic diagnosis (which at that point involved sending his DNA to Australia and took over two years) until he was 10. That’s late – it impacts on both treatment and prognosis.’

Read the rest of the article here.

NEW book : To Touch An Angel’s Wings

Ann has written down her experiences about Muir’s life and her journey with the family in a new book which will be published soon, called “To Touch an Angel’s Wings”.

“It’s a book about our lives, It’s called To touch an angel’s wings which is pretty much a summary of Muir. Every cloud has a silver lining. He’s affected us, his brothers and everyone he meets.”

We look forward to more news and will update this post when the book is published.

 

Flying with a Disabled Child.

Travelling with Disabled Children

Having a disabled child or children shouldn’t inhibit your family’s opportunities to holiday and get away from it all. More often than not though, people do find it difficult to travel when they have a child who is living with a disability. Whether your child is a wheelchair user or has a learning disability that is considered ‘invisible’ travelling for holiday purposes can be really difficult and in some instances seem like more trouble than its worth.

This doesn’t need to be the case and we’ve got together some tips which you should consider if planning to travel in the UK or abroad with your whole family.

Before you Travel

Before you travel there are many preparations you can make. You could consider booking your trip through an agency who specialises in disabled travel, this is an option most suitable to those travelling with wheelchair users. In most instances regular travel agencies have little or no experience of disability travel and won’t be able to think of everything. The planning stage of your trip will take a lot of research and your holiday itinerary will need to be detailed and specific. It may seem like a military operation but it will result in a smoother journey in the long run.

Before you travel you should also talk to any medical professionals involved in your children’s care. They will be able to advise to a point if they believe your child is ready for such a break and can give you specialist advice relating to their condition if needed. You can also top up on any prescription medication required.

Preparing your child is another point to consider. Every child and their condition is obviously different and only you know how your child will react. Children on the autistic spectrum for example may need a lot of notice and reminders so they are able to handle the change and enjoy the experience.

Key Considerations

You will need to consider a wide range of things which could impact on your ability to travel. Consider the assistance you may need and ensure you contact your airline or travel provider. Cover all specialised elements of your child’s condition such as dietary requirements and medications.

You will also need to think about specialist equipment you may need upon a flight and below we’re looking more closely at the MERU TravelChair and how this can revolutionise travelling with young wheelchair users.

Thinking again of medical information – you should double check the locations of the nearest emergency medical facilities from your holiday home to ensure easy access if the worst were to happen. Not knowing will only cause more panic and make the holiday much more stressful.

Depending upon the disabilities of your child or children you may need to check your travel insurance covers you all adequately. In some instances you may need to purchase specialist insurance to cover all of your child’s needs.

Meru TravelChair for Wheelchairs Users

At Trabasack, we realise the worry of booking a flight when you have a disabled child. We also like to highlight the work of others to create a more inclusive and accessible world and with that in mind, we’d like to introduce the TravelChair.

Flying with a disabled child the travelchair

TravelChair Logo

Tackling the Worry of Flying with a Disabled Child

The TravelChair is a product developed by the children’s charity MERU, who campaign and work towards improving the lives of children and young adults with disabilities by designing and producing custom-made equipment that can aid independent living and support daily activities at home, at school and in the community. The TravelChair is just one product from MERU and it’s a development which could make a huge change to air travel for children with disabilities, making it both more accessible and more enjoyable.

At present, very few children with disabilities in the UK have had the opportunity to travel abroad due to what MERU describe as ‘perceived limited options of additional support in the chair when travelling on planes’. To combat this problem, MERU have developed and created the one-of-a-kind chair for supporting children with disabilities during a flight. The TravelChair fits easily into a standard airline seat and in the past few years, MERU say it has meant over 1,000 children with severe disabilities have been able to experience the holidays of a lifetime. The TravelChair (formerly known as the AirChair) is currently available on Virgin Atlantic and Monarch Airways flights and was developed with advice and input from parents of children with disabilities, airlines themselves and also the Civil Aviation Authority.

Travel chair for flying with a child with special needs

The TravelChair installed in an airline seat

The TravelChair itself is a very lightweight and easy to carry design which fits easily into all airline seats and if you were to travel with Virgin Atlantic, the cabin crew are also trained to fit the sit for you if you need assistance. It is designed for children around three to nine and provides full postural support. Some of its main features include both waist and head support, shoulder restraints, optional pommel strap and an adjustable height leg rest. Despite being extremely robust and secure, the it is also comfortable and is designed specifically for children, providing them with the full body support they may require. Other aeroplane support options are often ‘one size fits all’ which is often unsuitable for children, being too large or small, the TravelChair is different.

It is a brilliant development that is making a huge difference to childrens’ lives and giving children with severe disabilities a chance to experience foreign travel like everybody else.

For more info about the Travelchair visit MERU website here

special chair insert for fyling with disabled children

The Travel Chair pictured at Naidex

We also have a free guide available containing information about grants, holidays and agencies for travelling with a disabled person. If you would like a copy, please sign up here and it will be sent by email.

UPDATE from OT Expert Site and NAIDEX SOUTH 2012

The Travel Chair was seen at Naidex South 2012 and Meru’s Anna-Stina was interviewed about the flight chair by the OT Expert site. The interview can be heard on the link, but an edited transcript follows:

“Meru is launching a ‘try before you fly’ service so that parents of disabled children who need postural support can try the Travel Chair before flying.  We are hoping that the airlines will buy them and Virgin has already ordered them. Parents can also buy them. We are offering a service where parents can try out the chair in situ in a fuselage that looks like an aeroplane and you can walk between the aisles and experience the tightness of the seats. You can actually find out “will this chair suit my child?”.

We were approached at Meru by Virgin, Monarch and British Airways one and a half years ago to design a seat that suit disabled children. They wanted a seat that would provide postural support to disabled children while flying.  10 years ago, Meru had created a seat for British Airways, the Travel Chair Mk1, so it was a good opportunity to revisit it. It has been carefully redesigned and we have done extensive research, finding out from disabled children what their requirements and needs are, we now have the finished product for sale to individuals and charities for £2500.

Civil Aviation Authority Safety Notice

You will also find some more useful facts about the use, weight and storage information of the chair on the CAA website. There is a safety document from the Civil Aviation Authority for aircraft companies and passengers about the chair here.

Video about the Meru Travel Chair

Below you can see Graham Race (TravelChair Designer – MERU) speaking at the Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo about the TravelChair.

As you Travel

When you’re travelling the equipment you keep on you needs to be minimal to make the journey as easy as possible. Keep all your regular travel information on your person including tickets, passports and relevant paraphernalia. Also keep a copy of the most pertinent information about your child’s condition to hand in case of emergencies and the same goes for any emergency medications.

Travel isn’t all about the admin though, be prepared to enjoy it. Stock up your child’s travel bag with their favourite snacks and games and ensure reminders of home are present to keep them comfortable.

If you’re travelling by car you should also factor in breaks to ensure no one gets overwhelmed and you are able to enjoy your journey as much as possible.

Holidays for Children with Autism

Preparing for a holiday with children on the autistic spectrum takes considerable effort and as well as all the above points you may need to be discerning with your choice of destination. There are several holidays across Europe which have been adapted especially for Autism families to ensure the whole family have a fantastic experience.

Happy Kids Holidays for example rents ASD-friendly cottages in France and the chance to prepare for the break with personalised social stories and online chats so your child can get to know their environment before they arrive.

There are also breaks in the UK which include specialised Autism-friendly sessions such as horse riding lessons at Coworth Park in Berkshire which also incorporates sensory play.

Have a Happy Holiday

Travelling with children with disabilities can be hard-going and even arriving at your destination can be difficult with children who find change hard to cope with. There are ways and means though and we hope our points give you a further opportunity to explore what’s available and take the step to introducing your child to new experiences. It’s great for the family as a whole too.

Kindle Fire for Special Education

Kindle Fire for Special Education

The Kindle Fire Tablet comes to the UK

Kindle Fire for Special Education

Kindle Fire Tablet

We have discussed the launch of the Kindle Fire in the past and how it can be used in a special educational environment. The newest incarnation of the top Amazon product has now been announced on the UK version of the site and is due to be released on October 25th 2012.

Amazon has brought their Kindle a long way from a simple eReading device. Now, it stands out amongst the competitors such as the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Kobo. Its product range is further advanced and their Kindle Fire HD Tablet is described as the most advanced tablet of its size. Kindles are for more than just readers now; they can help in many environments including the special educational needs classroom. What’s also encouraging is that they’re extremely affordable compared to other devices on the market such as the Apple iPad.

A Closer Look at the Kindle Fire for Special Education

The Kindle Fire has been the most popular item on Amazon.com for a long time and it has been further developed and brought to the UK. A small, handheld tablet device available for less than £150, the Kindle Fire
can be packed full of tons of apps and run all manner of games, educational support apps and more. The Fire is also easy to handle for users with disabilities which affect their dexterity and grip.

It incorporates a touch screen and Android operating system. It has been equipped with a new 1.2GHz processor to improve performance and incorporates all the qualities of an Amazon reading device, so you can access many books and stories and also a high-spec tablet device. The Amazon Kindle Fire is ideal for the special learning environment because of its affordability and quality. The price is fantastic for what you get and all users can benefit from different features within the device.

There is also the HD Version which is even further enhanced with Dolby sound and a choice of both 16GB and 32GB versions.

Apps for the Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire for Special Education AppStore

Amazon AppStore

The full range of apps available for the Kindle Fire in the UK is only accessible via the UK Amazon Appstore. However, we’ve been able to take a look a few currently available in the US and are sure similar options will be available through the UK store. Popular apps for the Kindle Fire for Special Education include:

TapToTalk : an innovative AAC app which promotes communication and learning

iStoryBooks : interactive audio story books, ideal for the bookworm of the class

Calm Counter : a behavioural management app for children with challenging behaviours and difficulty expressing their needs verbally.

Autism iHelp Series: a range of specifically designed apps for those with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Encouraging speech and learning in several categories including: Home, Animals and Food.

Please note, many of these apps are available for other tablets and via Android and Apple so we’re sure they’ll come to the UK Amazon Appstore too.

Amazon Fire in the UK

We can’t wait to enjoy all the apps on offer from Amazon.com and are sure users looking for an affordable tablet option will be considering the Kindle Fire for Special Education as a great value version of more expensive, higher-spec competitors. There are so many tablets on the market, it is clear there is a lot of choice but the Amazon Fire has already taken the US by storm, so maybe the UK is next?

Here’s a look at an original review of the Fire, before it was launched in the UK:

New Amazon Kindle Fire Launched in the UK

New Amazon Kindle Fire Launched in the UK

A Closer Look at Amazon’s Exciting New Product Range

We’re excited to announce that the new Kindle Fire Tablet has finally reached the UK, with its release date scheduled for next month. As the biggest selling product on Amazon.com, we’re sure it will be a huge success in the UK too and we’ve been waiting for its launch for a long time now. We initially discussed the Amazon Kindle Fire back in June and are now excited to see it here in the UK. Let’s take a look at the full range of new products from Amazon.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire

New Kindle Fire

The original, most desired product. The highest seller on Amazon.com and soon to be the same in the UK we don’t doubt. With a brand new processor promising 40% faster performance than the original design, if you’re looking for high spec without the high price, this is definitely an option to consider. Amazon highlight the simplicity of use and portability as the highlights of the their original Fire and we have to agree but also rate it’s super value when compared to other leading products from Apple and Blackberry for example. It features an intuitive 7″ Touchscreen and a 1.2GHz processor.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD

If high spec is really important to you, the HD model is another top consideration. Available in 16GB and 32GB models, both for under £200, the HD features Dolby sound and super-fast Wi-Fi. Ideal for use in a learning or entertainment environment, games and apps can be accessed easily and enjoyed in the highest quality. It’s hard to believe Amazon are able to offer such high quality products at such an affordable price.

Amazon Kindle Touch eReader

Kindle eReaders have taken the world by storm. Most people don’t even use the word eReader anymore; simply Kindle which shows their domination of the market place. The original design featured just keypad buttons but it has been developed and now has an integrated, intuitive touchscreen. Ideal for users with motor skills disabilities, the Kindle Touch responds efficiently to light touches and is also equipped with text-to-speech capabilities so it can read aloud to you.

We’re looking forward to the arrival of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD in the UK on 25th October and are sure you are too. If you have any doubts about the product at all, check out this review video:

In our next post we will be looking at the Kindle Fire for use in Special Education whether it will be an alternative to the ipad.

Have you heard of Steps Charity?

Have you heard of Steps Charity?

Steps Logo

Steps Charity loans sensory toys to children of all ages and abilities. They have a postal lending library and also adapt toys by request for switch use.

Steps Charity is a registered UK organisation that believes that every day can be a play day for children with additional needs who cannot play independently. They work with mainstream toys to adapt them to individual children’s needs, creating uniquely designed toys perfect for your child. These toys are generally operated by an external switch that the Steps team personally develop to meet your child’s needs. For example, for a child with limited dexterity, they may create a switch that only needs to be lightly touched or perhaps one that can be blown or sucked.

The best thing about the work at Steps do is that they try to adapt any toy you want. If your child is a mad Rory the Racing Car fan, you can tell the Steps Charity the details of the toy you have in mind and they can find out whether it’s something that can actually adapt and then begin working for you, once you send them the toy of course. Steps are committed to focussing on what your child CAN DO and working with their skills to create a toy which they can fully enjoy and develop with. Every day can be play day with the help of Steps.

Sensory Toy Lending Library

A Steps Charity Sensory Switch

As well as regular switches, Steps can provide special sensory switches which are known to be great for offering multi-sensory stimulation for children with PMLD and also children who have significant hearing or visual impairments. As the picture shows, these switches are extremely bright and tactile, with music, lights and vibrations. They are designed as sensory toys in their own right but can also be linked to a specific external toy and used separately when required. The technology involved really is special and is something that many children already have benefitted from.

Steps Charity has a Facebook page and they are always looks for membership support to back up their campaign because they believe that every child deserves play time and we agree. The Trabasack team have a personal debt to Steps Charity. The co-founder’s son, Joe, has Dravet Syndrome and PMLD and has benefited from many years membership of the library, he has enjoyed many different toys that have been adapted for switch use.

 Visit the Steps Charity website

 

The Kindle Fire: a revolution for special educational needs?

The Kindle Fire: a revolution for special educational needs?

New Kindle Fire Tablet

The much awaited Kindle Fire tablet has been on the market across the pond for awhile now and it’s astonishingly low price is potentially going to rock the tablet market. If the Kindle Fire can live up to its reviews and is as great as people say, for such an affordable price, then perhaps we’re a step closer to revolutionising the educational environments of children with additional needs.

Although there is no release date or price set for the UK Kindle Fire, it’s bound to happen eventually. In the US, the Kindle Fire is retailing at $199 which is under £150 and an absolute steal compared to other tablets on the market, most notably Apple favourites the iPad and iPad2.

We have previously discussed at length the value of tablet technology for enhancing and encouraging the learning of children with special educational needs and the use of the iPad in the classroom is becoming more widespread but because of its large cost, some children are still missing out. With the launch of the reasonably priced Kindle Fire, perhaps there’ll be a change across the board and classrooms will be able to provide tablet technology for every child who needs it?

Now the Kindle Fire boasts impressive specs. It is smaller than an iPad with a 7-inch colour display but it can access all the apps and technology you may require to educate and further enhance the learning for your child. It’s very light weight so easy to handle and is a very basic tablet design which could be perfect for the classroom. The Kindle Fire has been designed for media usage, not for communication so you can enjoy all the chosen media types you need.

Can the Kindle Fire deliver?

However, despite all the potential in this first generation Kindle Fire, it is missing many essential features which would make it ideal for the additional needs classroom. Over at Assistive Technology Blog they have discussed in depth the features that the Kindle Fire is missing which means it is unfortunately not accessibly designed. Most notably, it is missing both text-to-speech and Braille display support.

Amazon is a company who have the ability to produce high quality, fantastic devices but they seem to be missing a trick when it comes to providing items which are accessible to all. There is hope that eventually, their great quality products including the new Fire and their eReaders will be designed in a way which makes them suitable for use in the special educational needs classroom. The price tag is great but the functionality doesn’t add up.

Here’s a full video review of the Kindle Fire’s features:

POST UPDATED LAUNCH DATE ANNOUNCED We look at the UK launch of the Kindle fire in the next post.

UPDATED and our newest post is about using the Kindle fire for Special Education Apps.

Play Dough Recipes: Sensory Toys for your Trabasack Play Tray

Make your own gloops and doughs for sensory play

There are endless possibilities for creating an exciting and enjoyable sensory play day for your child. Utilising your Trabasack Sensory Play Tray as a stable and secure surface to work from, you can really create anything you want. We previously looked at playing with water and ice, here we’ve collected some fun and safe ideas for creating your own dough. Fantastic for squelching, squashing and even (in some cases) tasting. Creating a range of doughs with different consistencies and properties is a great way of introducing different textures and feelings to your child and your Trabasack is the perfect platform to begin from.

Preparing your Trabasack

Use your non-slip Trabasack mat to keep the surface clean

This could get messy so remember to use your Trabasack non-slip mat to keep it clean and fresh. The mat wipes clean and if you do have any spillages remember you can simply put your play tray in the washing machine and it’ll be like new within a short spin. Of course, ensure the Trabasack is safely secured to your child’s buggy, wheelchair or safely around their waist and then the fun can begin.

Preparing your Doughs

There are literally hundreds of dough recipes out there and we thought we’d get together a few that are quite different from each other, to give the widest range of textures, colours and different sensory experiences:

Clean Mud: 1 bar of soap, 1 roll of toilet paper, 4 litres of water (makes a lot)
Layer the toilet paper in a tub, grate the soap on top and then add the water, mix up, leave overnight and you can squish and squash to your heart’s content in the morning

Fruity Putty: 1 packet of jelly powder, 250g flour, 1 tbsp cooking oil, 2 tbsp hot water – cook this all up in a pan to create a colourful, jelly ball of putty

Corn Flour Dough: 125g corn flour, 125ml warm water, 1 tbsp natural/baby oil – cook this up in a pan, choosing an oil with a strong flavour to add the additional aroma to the sensory experience. This produces a shiny, slick dough.

Play Time

With these three doughs, with their very different consistencies you can create shapes, balls, patties, whatever you want and your child can feel the different properties and enjoy the whole experience fully. These are just three of many doughs out there but they create a great range of different sensory experiences including the pleasant aroma of the corn flour dough, the sticky mess of the clean mud and of course, the bright colours of the fruit putty. We wouldn’t recommend you eat any of these products but they won’t cause you any harm and if you’re more interested in edible doughs, there are plenty out there.

There is a useful video with another recipe for coloured doughs here:

Using your Trabasack play tray as a base for exploring different sticky substances is a great way of enjoying your sensory time and it’s so quick and easy it’s really worth giving a go. For those of you who want to cheat, click here!

 

Sensory Play Tray Uses: Water and Ice

Free ideas for sensory play: Water and Ice

We know about the value of sensory play for children with special educational needs and have looked at homemade sensory toys in another article. We will now look a more free ideas for entertaining your child. Your Trabasack Sensory Play Tray can be used innovatively to introduce many different sensory experiences to your children and it’s perfectly designed to allow for fun and messy play as well as more scripted and controlled sessions. Why not consider using your Trabasack to introduce your child to water and ice and experience the differences?

Water and Ice Play

Trabasack Non-Slip Mat protects your play tray

Utilising a Trabasack Non-Slip Mat, you can protect your Trabasack’s soft surface and ensure it is secured around your child’s waist, to their buggy or to their wheelchair, wherever you choose to play. Once everything’s in place the fun can begin.

What you’ll need:

  • Ice Cubes
  • Small Tub of Water
  • Crushed Ice

You could also add in winter themed or water themed toys such as small boats or plastic toy animals.

Introducing each element individually, guide your child to feel and experience the differences between the three substances. Loads of fun can be had splashing in the water, trying to pick up ice cubes and you could even make mini snowballs out of the crushed ice. The secure Trabasack surface means you won’t have to worry about anything getting dropped. You could create a snowy winter scene with crushed ice mountains or try floating the ice cubes in your tub of water. The fun that can be had with ice and water is really vast and it’s a great way of introducing a range of different sensory experiences to your child.

Benefits of Water and Ice Play

Investigate the properties of ice

If you’re considering using water and ice in an educational setting, you can show children the differences between the two substances and give them the opportunity to feel these differences in their own time and it’s like having your own water play table in a safe, reachable difference. The Trabasack surface is protected by its non-slip mat and you can be sure your child will be having tons of fun and experiencing something beneficial to their development, understanding and of course entertainment.

Your Trabasack play tray really is an extremely flexible accessory which you can use in many ways to enhance and further your child’s sensory experiences.

Introducing the new Trabasack Media Mount

The Trabasack team are extremely pleased and excited to announced the launch of their product, the Media Mount

:

The Media Mount is an extremely versatile and multifunctional mounting device that makes using your Trabasack play tray with your children even easier and it can even make your Trabasack an even better play tray than it was before. Despite being completely brand new, it’s already drawing in interest from Trabasaxons who have only positive things to say and it is an accessory for your Trabasack that one fan describes as ‘an excellent product, multi-functional & well thought out. It adds further functionality to the original Trabasack Connect without adding extra weight to it.’ With comments like this it’s clear to see the team can be proud of their new product and its place in the product range.

A Quick Look at the Media Mount

A young Trabasaxon using the Media Mount as an iPad support

The Media Mount holding a Skoog securely

When reading the name, you might wonder how the Media Mount can be of use to you and your child for your Trabasack Sensory Play Tray. However, as mentioned, this product is extremely versatile and flexible and can be used in a number of ways. Designed to mount any device from an iPad to a musical Skoog (both pictured) you can see how the Media Mount holds these items perfectly in place for use by your child, with or without support. The  Media Mount is made of hook and loop receptive material and is equipped with a velcro strip alongside so it fits closely to your Trabasack’s Connect Surface. What’s more the grab handles are large and make manoeuvring and positioning the new accessory even more straight forward.

The Media Mount and your Sensory Play Tray

Incorporating the Media Mount into your sensory play time is very easy and it can be a great of ensuring more enjoyment and development can be had whilst enjoying the session. For example, the Media Mount can act as a barrier at the edge of your Trabasack ensuring the hand positioning and movement is kept to the specific tray area or it can be used to held a particular object in place so it can be used more easily.

If you’re using bottles as music makers for example, you could position them securely with the Media Mount and then enjoy the play time without worrying about them going missing or being knocked over. Every day our customers are coming up with new uses for the Media Mount and as its been produced under the Design for All concept, we are sure that it can be manipulated for whatever particular needs you have in mind.

We’ve received positive feedback from Technical Specialist for SpecialEffect Charity and founder of OneSwitch.co.uk, Barrie Ellis who described it as a ‘brilliant implementation, I really love it’ and we agree completely with his comments and believe you could use your Media Mount in any number of ways to enhance and enjoy sensory play time.

At £19.95 it is a low cost way of mounting switches and special education toys, please send us your pics for a free gift!

HappyPee – a user-friendly potty training and travel aid

HappyPee – the friendly potty training and travel aid

HappyPee is ergonically designed with kids in mind

We like to help and support other retailers with the same aims and values as ourselves. Disabledgear.com is a social enterprise that helps people resell and recycle expensive disability equipment to those who need it.

Guy also imports new products that people cannot get find elsewhere. HappyPee is one such product requested on a facebook forum for Special Needs Equipment. HappyPee is a unisex portable potty training aid. This portable urinal is a great invention for when your child is first learning how to control their bladder and understand how toileting works.

HappyPee is designed to be funny and entertaining to help aid the potty training process and to support your child in their potty training adventure. The funny cartoon design is included to help children enjoy the learning experience involved in toilet training, rather than feeling anxious or scared about the experience. It is a huge milestone in their development and whatever age they are, it’s important to keep pressure and stress away from the situation. It’s a great tool for supporting your child with additional needs if they’re caught short or in a situation where it isn’t suitable to use the regular toilet.

The other great thing about HappyPee is that it’s portable, meaning you can keep one in your car to avoid little accidents in case of emergencies. When your children are young it can be unsettling and stressful to use public toilets, which can also be unsanitary, therefore a HappyPee can be a great way of keeping the stress levels down. Its concertina design means it can be folded down for easy storage and another plus point is that your child can use their HappyPee in the car which also protects their privacy.

HappyPee's fun factor making potty training less pressurised

The HappyPee Portable Urinal may look like a males-only product but this isn’t the case. It was ergonomically designed with girls in mind too so all children should be able to use it with ease. So if you have ever had the stressful experience of the kids being ‘caught short’ stuck on the motorway, then you will know what we mean! To purchase, just pop over to buy a Happypee portable urinal at DisabledGear.com and place your order. You will also be helping to support the DisabledGear.com free listings for 2nd hand disability equipment, a great social enterprise that reuses and recycles.

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