Kris Vensand, OTR, Judith Rogers, OTR, Christi Tuleja, OTR, & Anitra DeMoss, PhD
(Through the Looking Glass, 2000) [86 pages with photos]
For the past 10 years, Through the Looking Glass has been designing and fabricating baby care equipment for parents with disabilities, as well as studying the impact of such equipment on parenting. Very few items of adaptive baby care equipment are available on the market, and scarcity is compounded by the lack of universal design in equipment (i.e., products that are useful for caregivers with differing physical abilities). Because of the critical absence of adaptive baby care equipment, TLG is committed to developing and documenting creative baby care solutions.
This newest publication builds upon TLG's highly acclaimed Ideabook 1 (published in 1995), incorporating TLG's most recent and more extensive research on adaptive baby care equipment. This publication is presented as a catalyst for problem-solving regarding the development of adaptive baby care equipment. This newest publication is designed for parents, family members and professionals. It includes: guidelines for problem-solving baby care barriers; photographs and descriptions of prototypes and resources for adaptive baby care equipment; adaptive baby care techniques; adaptive baby care equipment checklist; commercial product safety commission guidelines; and local and national resources.
The following excerpt is taken from the newest publication:
"Individuals with physical disabilities have been successfully parenting for years, and the majority has been doing so without adaptive baby care equipment or professional guidance. Many parents have told us, however, that they would have preferred having the option of using adaptive baby care equipment and access to professionals who have experience with disabled parents. Although parents may accommodate to the lack of appropriate baby care equipment, most do so at the risk of increased stress, fatigue, and even secondary injury. For some parents, lack of adaptive baby care equipment has resulted in practical problems that may limit their roles in parenting and increase their need for personal care assistance or undesired reliance on nondisabled family members. In some child custody situations, the absence of appropriate baby care equipment has even compromised or undermined an appropriate evaluation of parental capability and the infant/parent relationship.
"TLG initiated research to demonstrate the impact of adaptive baby care equipment for parents with physical disabilities. One finding was that when adaptive baby care equipment is available, it can significantly reduce parents' difficulty, pain, and fatigue while increasing satisfaction with baby care activities. Furthermore, this decrease in the physical demands of baby care has been associated with an increase in positive parent-child interaction. TLG speculates that this positive interaction was partially due to the increased proximity of parent and child, and that the decreased physical demands upon the parent enabled freer engagement with the child. In some cases, availability of adaptive baby care equipment can have an even more dramatic impact-making baby care possible for a parent or caregiver."