For those of you unfamiliar with the perplexing and exhausting world of Durable Medical Equipment, here's how it goes: First, you establish a need for equipment - this is often done with the help of a therapist. Next, you meet with a representative from a DME company, who helps you and the therapist choose the specific piece of equipment that best meets your needs. At this point, the DME company takes over, contacts your insurance company (or companies), gets approval, orders the equipment, assembles it, delivers it to your door, and demonstrates how to use it. The whole process takes up to 90 days. We started the process on this little beauty, which we received 2 weeks ago, at the beginning of October. As in October 2010. Fire up your mental abacus and you will figure out that we should have had it at the end of December or beginning of January at the latest. I won't drag you through the comedy of errors that accounts for the mind-boggling delay we experienced. Suffice it to say that we have it now, and it works.
The purpose of a stander is to help Collin's body get the benefits of weight-bearing that he misses out on otherwise. It aids in digestion, gives neuro-feedback to joints, and helps to form the hip socket. Plus, we have found that Collin doesn't often spontaneously develop a desire to do something different physically - he has to do it before he wants to do it. For example, after lots of supported sitting, he started to want to sit by himself. So, our hope is that after experiencing what it feels like to be upright and bearing weight on his legs, he will eventually want to stand in other situations.
As with a lot of things, Collin surprised us by being much better with the stander than we expected. Having never stood up in his life, we anticipated needing to start at only a few minutes of standing at a time and slowly work our way up. However, the first time in it, he tolerated over half an hour and now averages 45 minutes twice a day. The first time I saw him in it, I was shocked at how tall and little-boyish (versus babyish) he looked. We use stander time to get in some video watching, usually with pinhole glasses to develop his central vision. And as a reward for watching a whole video standing up, he gets to do his absolute favorite - play with dry beans. He pushes his hands through them and flings them all over the dining room, but I don't mind a bit. I don't get the chance to clean up after my 2 year-old the way many moms do, so it's a welcome duty.