We recently purchased a Firefly Upsee from a special needs equipment selling page on Facebook and I thought I’d write a bit about our experience with it for anybody that is thinking of purchasing one.
Joseph is 2 and has evolving cerebral palsy including spasticity in his limbs, he is unable to stand unaided as he has low tone in his trunk.
His knees are fairly stiff and only bend around 30 degrees.
I did double check with Joseph’s physiotherapist and she agreed that he would be perfectly safe to use the Upsee in short sessions as long as he is well supported and we take care to use small steps that are in keeping with the range of motion that he has in his legs.
Joseph is a very curious and inquisitive little boy who despite his motor control challenges, is able to navigate his little world in his own ways.
He is able to roll effectively (and speedily!) to get to where he wants to go.
I love that he has this small bit of independence and control.
Unfortunately it can be frustrating for him at times, as he is desperately keen to explore his environment and hates nothing more than feeling like he is missing out on something.
Joseph has a Leckey standing frame at home that we use regularly, which provides a different position for Joseph to be in and is great to aid social participation at home.
However, it is different to the Firefly Upsee in terms of positioning.
The stander is used at a supine angle, so I wanted to try the Upsee to offer him a full upright position and that bit more freedom to move around in other places as well as at home.
The Upsee was relatively easy to put on with a bit of help, it will take some practice to do so on my own.
Joseph was interested straight away and seemed to really enjoy viewing his surroundings from a new and exciting perspective.
He tired quite quickly understandably and so we only did a bit of a walk around the house, giving him a chance to explore the environment.
As soon as he came out of the Upsee he was signing ‘more’ to me, indicating that he had enjoyed it a lot.
We have plans to use the Upsee outdoors now that the weather is getting a bit better and we’re particularly excited to use it to go and feed the ducks, giving Joseph the opportunity to take a more active role in the activity and allowing him to see everything from a more optimum position.
I envision plenty of fun times ahead for us using the Upsee in the future and would definitely recommend it for other children like Joseph.